The CEO gender tenure gap (slightly) narrows

A gender tenure gap among CEOs is not a new topic of discussion, but recent research sheds light on where the issue stands today.

In 2023, the average tenure for female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies was 4.5 years, compared with 7.2 years for men, according to data from Equilar shared exclusively with Fortune

This is in line with a persistent CEO gender tenure gap, the data showed. The gap has only slightly narrowed since 2014, when women averaged three years and men averaged 7.7. 

"To be sure, women who run Fortune 500 companies represent a small sample of our data, and it's possible that the gap would shrink if an equal share of men and women were in charge of the largest U.S. firms," Fortune's Lila MacLellan wrote in a Feb. 20 article. "However, Fortune's findings also align with those of a 2022 analysis of Russell 3000 companies that found male CEOs hold on to their jobs for 9.9 years while women last 6.6 years, as Bloomberg reported."

Additionally, Russell Reynolds Associates published a study in November analyzing data from the 1,822 companies listed on the world's leading stock indices, including the S&P 500, FTSE 100, NSE Nifty 50, and CAC 40. It found women's time as CEO is significantly shorter than their male counterparts and that the average tenure for female CEOs is 5.2 years, compared with 8.1 years for men. Russell Reynolds Associates also found that the size of this gap varies worldwide, and only in India's NSE Nifty 50 do female CEOs have a longer tenure than men.

Russell Reynolds consultants cited various reasons female CEOs may have shorter tenures than men, such as gender bias, discrimination, and workplace support and culture. 

The consultants also said female CEOs may be more likely to leave their organizations for better positions and opportunities.

"If the tenure gap between men and women persists, it will potentially make it harder for industries to reach gender parity, suggesting more needs to be done to not only appoint women into the top seat but retain them," they concluded. 

Read the full Russell Reynolds study here. Read more in Fortune here

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars