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How Times Have Changed? CEO Gender Gap Analysis of the S&P 500

Despite all of the attention placed on increasing the number of female executives at American companies, the needle on the gender gap has hardly moved. When S&P Capital IQ looked at the annual growth of female Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the S&P 500 Index from 2006 to 2016, we saw an increase of one new female CEO every two years. Furthermore the current number of female CEOs running S&P 500 Companies stands at a meager 22 out of 500; which is down from 25 female CEOs at the end of 2014.

As gender diversity increases in global companies, and more and more women join the workforce, it seems only natural that more females should assume the leadership CEO positions. By focusing on S&P 500 Companies as of January 13th, 2016 (which accounts for approximately 75 percent of the US equity market by capitalization) and analyzing the male/female ratios of CEOs, we get a modest representation of how the gender gap has changed over the years for the largest publically owned companies.

Our assessment revealed the following key findings:

  • The gender gap at the CEO level of S&P 500 Companies is not closing. Growth rate for new female CEOs is only one per every two years.
  • Information Technology (Info Tech) has the most female CEOs. Energy, Materials and Telecoms have no female CEOs in the S&P 500.
  • Things may not change any time soon. At the end of 2014, the S&P 500 Index had 25 female CEO’s. Latest figures show this number has declined to 22 female CEOs.