Report: Only 6 female CEOs named by S&P 250 companies in 3 years
- Feigen Advisors’ third annual New CEO Report showed that company health and stability were top issues among the country’s largest companies. Feigen Advisors is an advisory firm for S&P 250 CEOs.
- Gender inequality in the S&P 250 continues to be striking. Three newly appointed CEOs were women in 2016, bringing the total appointed to six in the years since 2014. "If PepsiCo alone can produce eight of the new CEOs, then certainly the top 250 companies can produce more than six women CEOs,” Feigen said.
- Increasingly, the majority of incoming CEOs were recruited from within — a sign of company health, the report noted. Usually, companies that are struggling financially are more likely to recruit outside the company.
The dearth of women heading S&P 250 companies mirrors the scarcity of women leaders more generally. Women remain with their organizations much longer than men before becoming CEOs, according to the study. This gives the appearance that women must prove they’re worthy of heading up an organization more often than men and reflects other studies that have revealed a general unwillingness to promote women early on.
Studies show that when women make their way into high-level positions, they bring in and pave the way for other women. In short, women might have to “self-recruit” to increase their ranks as company heads. At least one company has started tying pay to diversity hiring initiatives in an attempt to encourage diverse hiring up front. Establishing internal networks for women is a key way to ensure they remain in the industry at all.
But in good news, CEOs generally are remaining in their positions longer — 10.7 years on average. Longer tenures can aid in succession planning and slow down the knowledge drain that sometimes follows C-suite turnover. It also instills a sense of stability throughout an organization, which is good for talent retention overall.