Appointment of women CEOs doubles globally
Only 8% of the UK’s CEOs are women, according to the eighth annual Route to the Top report released by provider of executive search and leadership advisory services, Heidrick & Struggles. The survey analysed the profiles of 1,095 CEOs at the largest publicly listed companies across 24 markets including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, UAE, UK and the US.
The percentage seems low, but the share of newly appointed women CEOs has more than doubled globally to 13% over the first half of 2021; this compared to the last six months of 2020 which was 6%. The increase appears to indicate more progressive and inclusive policies inside the world’s top businesses. D&I continues to be brought into sharp focus, as made evident by the results shared at Talint Partners’ Benchmark Summit at The King’s Fund in London on 18 November.
While only 8% of UK CEOs are women, this is a 3% increase on last year and 2% more than both the European and global average (6%). At 14%, Ireland leads the world with the highest number of female leaders at the top of the corporate ladder.
Sharon Sands, partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ London office and co-lead of the CEO & Board of Directors Practice commented on the findings: “In the UK, the percentage of CEOs with cross-industry experience has risen to 34% in 2021 from 13%, as was found in the 2020 report. This shows that the skill set required is not-necessarily industry specific and can be transferred as required. Companies are also increasingly looking internally to fill available C-suite roles. At Heidrick & Struggles, we are strong believers in succession planning and the importance of developing a pipeline of diverse talent working their way up through the ranks.”