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It’s 2020, And Only 37 Of The Fortune 500 Companies Are Led By Women

9 Jun 2020 11:53 AM | Women of Martech Content

According to a May article by Fortune reporter Emma Hinchliffe, “the number of women running America’s largest corporations has hit a new high.” As of this year’s report, 37 (or 7.4%) of Fortune 500 companies have female leads, up from 33 last year.

There are three ways to look at this news:

  1. In just one year, the number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies grew by 12%.

  2. 100 years after the fight for female suffrage in America, more than 90% of our nation’s largest 500 corporations are run by men.

  3. More than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there are still no black female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies.

In her article dedicated to the topic of female CEOs, Hinchliffe noted that there is very little diversity among the female leaders of Fortune 500 companies. Plus, only seven of the 37 women run companies within the Fortune 100 subset and several of the Fortune 500 CEOs are concentrated in retail “while female leadership among the Fortune 500’s tech companies remains rare.”

Looking at the first 13 of the 37 Fortune 500 female leaders (based on alphabetical order, scroll down for their profiles; subsequent posts will highlight the remaining 24 female leaders), I’ve identified five similarities across their stories:

  1. Female Fortune 500 CEOs are authentically optimistic. Optimism and authenticity have been noted by many of the female Fortune 500 leaders as essential characteristics for success. The clear advice from female CEOs is to just be yourself.

  2. Positive reactions to change often brought success for this group of female leaders. A focus on new ideas and innovations to evolve businesses or solve problems propelled many of the female Fortune 500 leaders forward in their careers.

  3. These women are bold and courageous. Throughout their careers, Fortune 500 women CEOs capitalized on opportunities when the opportunities were presented to them, not when they felt fully equipped to tackle them.

  4. They’re not afraid of technology. From AI to personalization to electric vehicles, women leaders are creating, enhancing and embracing sophisticated technology for all its worth.

  5. Long tenures often resulted in positive growth. Many of the female Fortune 500 CEOs spent decades (if not their entire careers) at companies they are now leading. This fact is not meant to discourage job hopping, but more to realize job squatting has merits, too.

What similarities do you notice across the profiles of these 13 incredible women? Please share your thoughts, tagging Women of Martech using @Women Of Martech on LinkedIn and Facebook. 

We’ll be profiling the remaining 24 female Fortune 500 CEOs in the weeks ahead, but success in business doesn’t always mean getting to the tops of the ranks. Do you know a woman within martech who has done amazing things and deserves to have her story amplified? Tell us about her here.

Click here to read the profiles of 13 incredible women leaders.

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