Women Still Underrepresented Minority Within Fortune 100 C-Suites

DEIDiversity & CultureBoard and CEO AdvisoryHuman Resources OfficersDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
min Report
February 09, 2018
3 min
DEIDiversity & CultureBoard and CEO AdvisoryHuman Resources OfficersDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
Russell Reynolds Associates Conducts Annual Analysis of Fortune 100 C-Suites


​Despite significant investments in diversity programs among the nation’s leading firms, women still struggle to find parity within the C-suite, according to a Russell Reynolds Associates study of Fortune 100 C-suites. 

Of the 10 Fortune 100 CEO appointments in 2017, only one top spot went to a woman. Gail Boudreaux, a former UnitedHealth executive, has replaced Joseph Swedish at Anthem Inc., the nation’s second-largest insurer, which had revenue of nearly $85 billion last year. 

As a group, only eight of the Fortune 100 chiefs are women. That will drop to seven when Meg Whitman steps down from HPE in February, turning the reins over to Antonio Neri. 

In addition to Boudreaux and Whitman, other women CEOs heading up Fortune 100 enterprises include Mary Barra at General Motors, Safra Catz at Oracle, Marillyn Hewson at Lockheed Martin, Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo, Phebe Novakovic at General Dynamics and Ginni Rometty at International Business Machines (IBM). 

Movement among Fortune 100 CFOs dropped dramatically to a mere five in 2017. Of these five new appointments, only one woman took on the top finance spot last year. More than nine years into her tenure at General Electric, Jamie Miller was promoted to the CFO role. 

Among the nation’s leading companies, the CHRO role is the only C-suite position in which women consistently outnumber men. Among the Fortune 100 CHROs, women now hold 59 of these posts. 

Continuing on this trend, more than half of the 2017 new appointments within this cohort went to women. Five of these women were promoted into the role, including Leslie Culbertson at Intel, Kate Gebo at United Continental Holdings, Jennifer Mann at Coca-Cola, Monique Matheson at Nike and Kamy Scarlett at Best Buy. 

Meanwhile, Susan Podlogar, previously of Johnson & Johnson, now holds the top HR role at MetLife, and Jackie Wolf, previously of LyondellBasell, joined Boudreaux at Anthem. 

There were 18 chief marketing officer appointments among the Fortune 100 in 2017, and seven of these slots went to women.  

Promotions to the top marketing roles among women included Freddie Mac’s Lorig Armenian, Citigroup’s Jennifer Breithaupt, Audrey Choi of Morgan Stanley, Aditi Javeri Gokhale of Northwestern Mutual and Jocelyn Wong of Lowe’s. 

Kelli Parsons left New York Life to take on the CMO role for United Technologies, and Que Dallara, previously of TE Connectivity, is now CMO at Honeywell. 

Fortune 100 CIOs saw the most movement as a cohort, with 21 companies naming a new chief information officer in 2017. That was up, but only slightly, from 19 in 2016. 

Of the 21 new appointments, six are women, including Lori Beer at JPMorgan Chase, Martha Gallo at AIG, Amy Gilliland at General Dynamics, Stacey Goodman at Freddie Mac, Linda Jojo at United Continental Holdings and Julie Ray at Fannie Mae. 

Within the ranks of the Fortune 100 chief legal officers, there were eight new appointments in 2017. Half of these were women: Katherine Adam, previously of Honeywell, was hired on at Apple, Lucy Fato left Nardello & Co. to join AIG, Suzette Long was promoted internally from a Deputy GC role at Caterpillar and Anne Madden was also promoted internally at Honeywell International.​

The Fortune 100 C-Suite by the Numbers 



As of January 1, 2018