Career Woman

The breakdown of Fortune 500 female CEOs


We live in a world where women are constantly battling to prove their worth and professionalism in order to reach their career goals. Despite it being 2018, women are still sitting in minority positions and often paid less than their male counterparts. Even though discussions about equal payment and hiring seem to be slowly bearing fruit amongst employers, change in leading roles seems to be long in coming when looking at top management positions.

Despite this being the norm there are some women who are breaking the glass ceiling for the female population.

However after reaching an all-time high of 32 in 2017, the number of female Fortune 500 chiefs has slid back down to 24. That’s a one-year decline of 25% .In fact, not even 5% of all Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs.

The drop is due primarily to a number of powerful women leaving their corner offices. And it looks set to drop again, with recent news that Indra Nooyi is stepping down as CEO for PepsiCo after 12 years in the top job is set to leave her position. Nooyi, 62, will leave the role in October and remain chairman until early 2019. Ramon Laguarta, 54, who has been a candidate to take over since a promotion last year to president, will be just the sixth CEO in the 53-year history of the company. Handing the reins to a top lieutenant in a transition will certainly draw attention to the dearth of prominent female CEOs in corporate America

But let’s take a look at the female’s who have broken the mould and become successful CEOs of the world’s top companies. The recipe to becoming a female CEO varies. Ecard Shack has analysed the top female CEOs’ education, the age they became CEO, the industry they work in, their earnings and their current age, to then see if there is a certain trend that appears.

The youngest CEOs in the top Fortune 500 are Patti Poppe (49) CEO of CMS Energy and Joey Wat (47) CEO of Yum China. Despite both having MBA’s and Masters degrees they only became CEO at the ages of 47.

Who earned the most in 2017? Let’s take a look:

  • Safra A. Catz – $40.7 million
  • Indra Nooyi – $25.9 million
  • Mary Barra – $21.9 million
  • Phebe Novakovic – $21.2 million
  • Lynn Good – $21.1 million

Many of the women studied at the likes of Washington, Stanford, Alabama and Pennsylvania University’s and didn’t just stop at Undergraduate degrees like the majority of people do. No, they went on and continued to study specific courses and partook in MBA (Master of Business Administration) and Masters degrees.

To see all the Fortune 500 female CEOs and the age they became CEO, their education, the university they attended and the industry they work in, take a look at it here.

About Laura Brothers'

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