Korn Ferry Analysis of Largest U.S. Companies Shows Percentage of Women in Most C-Suite Roles Dramatically Lagging Male Counterparts
-Data Reveals Percentages by Title and Industry -
-Percentage of Women in C-Suite Down Slightly from 2016 -
The analysis found that across the most prominent C-Suite titles (CEO, CFO, CIO, CMO, CHRO) and several industries (consumer, energy, financial, healthcare, industrial, retail, technology and services) an average of less than one quarter (23 percent) of the top leaders are women. That is down slightly from 2016, when 24 percent of leaders in the studied C-Suite positions were women.
CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
The study found that across all C-Suite positions, the most senior post is held by the smallest percentage of women, with only 6 percent serving as CEO. This percentage is up slightly from 2016’s 5 percent.
Less than 1 percent of CEOs in the healthcare industry are women. (This excludes some healthcare providers and hospital systems, which are often non-profit organizations that may not publicly disclose financial information). The highest percentage of female CEOs is in the retail industry (12 percent), followed by the consumer industry (9 percent). The two industries with the lowest percentage of women CEOs are industrial (4 percent) and healthcare (less than 1 percent).
“In a recent
CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
Just 11 percent of CFOs across industries are women, which is down from 12 percent last year. The industry with the most female CFOs is retail at 19 percent, followed by consumer at 15 percent. Those industries tied for having the least female CFOs are financial and healthcare at 8 percent.
“While the percentage of female CFOs dipped slightly last year, we are
seeing a positive trend of women being internally promoted to CFO,” said
CIO (Chief Information Officer)
The percentage of women who hold the CIO role dipped from 19 percent last year to 16 percent this year. The industry with the highest percentage of women CIOs is financial at 26 percent, and the lowest percentage of women CIOs is in services at 7 percent.
“The results at the most senior level are disappointing, but we do
believe we are encountering a greater percentage of impressive and
capable female tech talent throughout organizations,” said
CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)
The percentage of female CMOs rose this year to 32 percent from last year’s 29 percent. The financial industry has the highest percentage of female CMOs at 49 percent and energy has the lowest at 18 percent.
“While up slightly from last year, and still higher than for all other
C-Suite executives except CHROs, 32 percent female CMOs is still
woefully low,” said
CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer)
The CHRO role is the only C-Suite role where there is gender parity, with 55 percent of CHROs across industries being women, which is the same as last year. The industry with the largest percentage of women CHROs is financial (66 percent) and the industry with the lowest is retail at 48 percent.
“In recent years the CHRO role has become increasingly tied to the
business strategy as leaders understand that their people are their
biggest asset,” said Korn Ferry Managing Partner
The Mix by Industry
When considering the percentage of C-Suite women by industry, the financial sector comes in the highest, at 29 percent. The consumer, healthcare and retail industries each have 24 percent of women in the C-Suite. Twenty-three percent of C-Suite members in the technology industry are women, followed by the industrial and energy sectors at 21 percent, and 20 percent in the services industry.
“In every industry we analyzed, there’s a tremendous need for improvement to bring more women to the C-Suite,” said Remick. “This is a joint responsibility of the women to seek out experiences and development that can help them lead and succeed, and for organizations to create an environment where women feel empowered to progress in their careers at all levels.”
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Tracy Kurschner, 612.309.3957