Women Make Gains Toward Winning CEO Job

There are strong internal female candidates to lead Tupperware, Kohl’s, Abercrombie, Verizon

The Wall Street Journal | January 17, 2017

The Wall Street Journal, “Women Make Gains Toward Winning CEO Job,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Amy Hayes about her thoughts on aspiring female CEOs. The article is excerpted below.

Women represent the strongest internal contenders for the corner office at a small but growing number of major U.S. companies. Their ultimate success could produce an unprecedented number of female chief executives.


Women frequently advance to run companies where they have a long track record. Nearly all of the 15 women appointed CEO at S&P 500 companies between 2012 and fall 2016 ascended internally, according to an exclusive analysis by recruiters Spencer Stuart.

Such executives often gained critical management roles with profit-and-loss duties after excelling early. But, leadership specialists say, women can’t always count on fair assessments during internal CEO succession contests—partly because of subtle gender bias about their competence.

In choosing a new chief, “companies are more willing to take a risk on a man than a woman with a similar experience set,’’ explained Amy Hayes, a senior consultant in the global leadership and succession practice at recruiters Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. “Aspiring female CEOs must have had success multiple times to win that ultimate promotion.’’

To read the full article​, click here.

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Women Make Gains Toward Winning CEO Job