9% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women — the highest of all indices

Business News | 23 Sep |

On the occasion of National Women’s Business Day, Women Business Collaborative (WBC), Ascend, C200 and Catalyst have released the third annual report highlighting women CEOs in America!  In Summer of 2022, 8.8% of CEOs are women and today women are 9% of CEOs in the Fortune 500.

“The Women CEOs in America Report offers much more than just data related to women leading the country’s major corporations,” said Edie Fraser, CEO of WBC. “It goes beyond the numbers to provide insight into what’s happening and why, adding depth and breadth to the data and helps to position the numbers in the context of not just corporate America but our society as a whole.”


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While the numbers rise in the Fortune 500, the promotion of women of color lag across the indices which include the Fortune, S&P 500 and Private companies.

There is still significant progress to be made to seat more diverse CEOs at the head of America’s largest companies.  There is tremendous growth in the number of women starting businesses. Research estimates that women own 40% of all companies in America, with Black and Latina founders starting businesses in record numbers. We share this report to hold companies accountable for ensuring women, especially women of color, have equitable access to leadership opportunities and networks for advancement.”  —Kimber Maderazzo, Chair, C200

The five key takeaways from this year’s report:

Change is happening. While the numbers show slow progress in the C-Suite of the country’s leading companies, key indicators of gender equity are moving in a positive direction.

Tolerance and Inclusion. Younger workers are bringing a strong desire for greater tolerance and inclusion previously unseen.

Change must start at the top. CEOs and boards need to take more action to demonstrate that diversity and inclusion are a necessity, not a nicety.

Mentors and Sponsors Matter. Women remain at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to mentors, networks, and sponsors. Corporate leaders, both male and female, must step up and serve as mentors and sponsors to early and mid-career women.

Diverse leadership is linked to performance. Women CEOs and leaders in government tangibly demonstrate the talents, skills, and contributions that women bring to their companies and their communities.

This report provides a comprehensive breakdown of women running Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, Russell 3000, S&P 500, Private Companies over $1 billion, and women entrepreneurs over $500 million. The report insights and analysis outline the 10 accelerators business and society can do to ensure that the number of women CEOs rise.

We are more than ready and will bring to the positions not only multicultural and multi-faceted perspectives, experiences, and wisdom, but the fortitude and resilience from having had to forge through multiple barriers and glass ceilings along the way — all strengths that will help our companies thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected world!”  states Anna Mok, President & Chair, Ascend

“This year the numbers of CEOS hit a record high of 44 and this report highlights what we’ve long known about women’s advancement to the top job in the C-suite: The progress is slow, but it is possible” states  Lorraine Hariton, President and CEO, Catalyst

The report was highlighted on Day Two of the WBC Action For Impact Annual Summit. For more information and to download a copy of the report, visit www.wbcollaborative.org.

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