More women are being hired as CEOs

April 30, 2014 10:15 am

In eight out of the past ten years, the number of women entering organisations as CEOs is greater than the number of women leaving their offices, according to a report by Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company).

The 14th Annual Chief Executive Study surveyed 2,500 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies. Measured in five-year increments, the overall percentage of women graduating to the position of CEO has increased from 2.1 per cent to 3.6 per cent.

Despite this, the numbers are still low with regards to women chiefs in large companies, dropping from 1.3 per cent to three per cent in 2013.

The study also adds that the materials industry has been home to the least percentage of female CEOs, with only 0.8 per cent of positions being filled by women between 2004 and 2013. In addition, the nation with the lowest share of female CEOs (0.8 per cent) during the same period was Japan, while those with the highest shares were the US and Canada (3.2 per cent each).

Ken Favaro, senior partner at Strategy& and a lead author of the study, says: “As much as one third of the incoming class of CEOs will be women by 2040, based on a ten-year trend in our data, higher education of women, continuing entry of women into the business workforce and changing social norms around the world.”

The Middle East region was also highlighted in the study, with senior partner and head of Strategy&’s Dubai office, Per-Ola Karlsson, adding that: “We see a similar trend in the Middle East region, with an increasing amount of women as CEOs or in other senior leadership positions, not least in family owned businesses that constitute an important part of these economies.”

Another area discussed in the study was the number of CEOs promoted from within the company versus those brought in from outside. According to the study, 78 per cent of men that graduated to CEOs between 2004 and 2013 was promoted from within the company and only 22 per cent entered the company as CEOs. During the same period, only 65 per cent of women was promoted to CEOs, while 35 per cent was brought in. Meanwhile, it also adds that a greater percentage of women has been forced out of their positions (38 per cent) as CEOs versus men (27 per cent).

Both male and female CEOs tick off similar boxes with regards to age, tenure and location statuses