Despite much talk and debate about more women becoming CEOs, it still isn’t happening.
Of the 10 Fortune 100 CEO appointments in 2017, only one top spot went to a woman, according to an accounting by Russell Reynolds Associates. Gail Boudreaux, a former UnitedHealth executive, replaced Joseph Swedish at Anthem, the nation’s second-largest insurer.
In total, only seven of the Fortune 100 CEOs are women. The number dropped from eight when Meg Whitman stepped down from HPE early this year, turning the reins over to Antonio Neri.
In addition to Boudreaux, the other women CEOs heading up Fortune 100 companies are Mary Barra at General Motors, Safra Catz at Oracle, Marillyn Hewson at Lockheed Martin, Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo, Phebe Novakovic at General Dynamics and Ginni Rometty at IBM.
“Until you create an environment where cultures are more open and until you consistently measure putting diverse leaders into positions, we will not grow the population of candidates into CEO roles,” David Mills, a consultant with Russell Reynolds Associates, told FierceCEO.
Additionally, “the percentage of men is higher who have track records,” Mills said.
Karen Lynch, president of Aetna, said, “Women are underrepresented in the C-suite because we are still facing a severe disadvantage. Femininity is looked at as a problem and a barrier to being an effective leader. Being female doesn’t fit with the preconceived notions of what a senior executive should be.
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