Today, the world has changed. Women are giving a tough competitor to their male counterparts in every field. The testimony for it is witnessing many women executives in Fortune 500 companies. The 2019 Fortune 500 list that was released by Forbes has 33 women CEOs who made to the list. This is an overwhelming number and has seen a considerable increase in the number of women CEOs from 24 to 33 in 2019.
When you see the last 12 months news in the corporate world, Northrop Grumman has appointed Kathy Warden as the CEO. Along with this, Land O’Lakes has appointed Beth Ford and Best Buy Company has appointed Corie Berry as the CEO, who is taking up the responsibility as the CEO since June 1 of this year. In the same way, there are few other women who are appointed as the CEOs of the top companies. Laura Alber has held the position as CEO of Williams-Sonoma and Lisa Su is being in the responsible position as CEO of Advanced Micro Devices has appointed since a few years. However, as both these companies have gone beyond the revenue of Fortune 500, i.e. USD 5.575 billion, therefore they have been ranked as the CEOs on the elite list. Though, women are playing a key role in every organization, but just 6.6% of women are held in the CEO positions in the Fortune list of companies.
Bed Bath & Beyond have appointed Mary Winston as the interim CEO. She is the first black woman to be heading the Fortune 500 Company after Ursula Burns got down from the role of CEO for Xerox two years ago. Indra Nooyi is working in the capacity of CEO for PepsiCo and Geisha Williams is wearing the hat of CEO for PG & E. However, both these CEOs have left the positions, as both of these companies have hit the Fortune 500 list companies.
In the research that was conducted by the Utah State University professor, Christy Glass along with Alison Cook on the gender inequality and racism stated that when the boards of the companies are well-integrated and have many women in it, then women would be appointed as CEOs and when women are heading the company, they would hire and promote people of different colors. As per the report given by Fortune, it was found that women hold 15.7% of board seats in the Fortune 500 companies in the last one and half decade. In 2019, the percentage has soared to 25.5%. The findings of the research disclosed that when women are appointed as the CEO, they pay more attention to the equality policies and promote stringent practices to maintain equality in the workplace. The brownie point of having more number of women CEOs of the companies is that, they would recruit, retain and advance people of different colors.
Though, the women leadership is significant, but many women are still finding it challenging to reach to the CEO level. The Fortune found that women working as CEOs will be serving the company for a short time compared to the male counterparts. On an average, women serve 42 months in the company as a CEO whereas men serve for 60 months. It might take years to bridge this gap and there could be various reasons for it to have existed.
When Nooyi has stepped down as the CEO, Lisa Mann, who is the CEO stated to CNBC that the companies should encourage more women to work in the capacity of VPs and SVPs in nurture the leadership qualities. If this happens, it creates more opportunities for women to take up top positions in the company. There is a very short journey for money that wants to control and run business. Welch stated that, if you can take more pain and want to have control over things, then it is possible only as an entrepreneur.