The latest numbers on women CEOs in public companies…..good or bad?

Strategy& (part of the PwC network of firms) annually highlights the incoming class of CEOs at the world’s largest 2,500 public companies in a report called CEO Success study. I recently read this report, which was published in strategy+business magazine. There were a few key findings related to accountability, turnover rates and a lot of other interesting information but the one that caught my attention was the progress of women. Can you guess how many women CEOs were appointed in these public companies during 2016?

I will get to that number pretty soon but below is a video that quickly summarizes the report and here is the link for the entire report.

Three major regions were analyzed and the percentage of women CEOs in US and Canada region was the highest. The other two regions studied were Western Europe and Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRIC countries). Any guesses who came in second? Well, the second place goes to China at 5.3 percent. US and Canada region was slightly ahead at 5.7%. What can these statistics tell us about these countries? Although the total number of women CEOs appointed at the top 2500 public companies was at 12, (yes, just 12) what is it that these companies are doing differently than their competitors and peers? What can these regions and other parts of the world do to bring up that number? I don’t have the answers but it is definitely worthwhile to explore and figure out what works and if other regions can adapt those practices to promote women.

While 12 women CEOs is not a great feat, looking at it from a context that there were none until a few years ago can help put things in perspective. It is a moment of celebration but also a reminder that a lot needs to be done while there is momentum.

What can we do to increase this number not just in these countries and industries but globally across all sectors? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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