Women CEOs now outnumber those named John at big companies

Among CEOs, women finally outnumber their counterparts with the first name John among S&P 500 companies — progress in what is a memorable measurement of gender representation that stems from a 2015 New York Times article. 

Eight years ago, the NYT published a story with the headline: "Fewer Women Run Big Companies Than Men Named John." Using names as statistics, the newspaper found that among CEOs of S&P 1500 companies, there were four men named John, Robert, William or James for each one woman. The NYT dubbed the ratio the Glass Ceiling Index. 

Today, no single male name matches the record 41 women who lead S&P 500 companies, according to a new analysis from Bloomberg based on CEO first names in the benchmark index from 2015 to 2023.

Female CEOs first outnumbered any single male name among S&P 500 CEOs in 2018. The following year, they tied with James and didn't bounce back until this past year, when 10 new women joined their ranks, according to Bloomberg.

Another name-driven statistic worth noting is the proliferation of unique first names among S&P 500 CEOs. There are now 186 unique first names, up from 133 in 2015, according to Bloomberg.

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