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News » CEO gender parity 81 years away: study

CEO gender parity 81 years away: study

The 2023 Global CEO Turnover Index Annual Report reveals it will now take 81 years to achieve equality. Photo from Russell Reynolds Associates

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — The race towards global gender parity at the chief executive officer (CEO) level has slowed down, according to a new study by Russell Reynolds Associates. 

Their 2023 Global CEO Turnover Index Annual Report reveals it will now take 81 years to achieve equality, an increase of seven years from 2022 projections.

Despite the highest CEO turnover globally, and more women appointed than ever before (12%), change is happening too gradually.

“If you’re a woman, you are under more pressure to visibly outperform. But woe betide you if you’re seen to be enjoying the profile of the CEO role too much,” said Laura Sanderson, UK Lead and EMEA co-lead at Russell Reynolds Associates.

The S&P 500 is only 22 years from parity, while the FTSE 100 is projected to reach this in 2141 – taking 117 years.

Alarmingly, some markets like the Hang Seng, Nikkei 225, and DAX 40 may never reach gender parity.

The study also found women do not remain CEOs as long as men, largely due to personal reasons (16% vs. 5% for men) and increased dismissal rates (34% vs. 25% for men). On average, men serve four and a half years longer in the top role.

Despite this, Sanderson is still optimistic about the progress of CEO gender parity.

“First, there are now more opportunities for women to get board experiences earlier in their executive careers. Second, the rise in the proportion of women nomination committee chairs and members will help mitigate any unconscious bias in the CEO appointment process.”

Russell Reynolds Associates’ 2023 Global CEO Turnover report analyzes CEO appointments and departures over the past year across twelve stock markets.

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