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One in Four in the C-Suite? Ugh.

Nov. 14, 2022

Only ONE in four C-suite leaders is a woman. Despite slight gains over the last eight years, women—and especially women of color—are still underrepresented in corporate America. The reality is even more apparent in senior leadership: only one in four C-suite leaders is a woman, and only one in 20 is a woman of color.

The report shows companies struggling with two pipeline problems that make achieving gender equality in their organizations difficult.

Challenge 1

The “broken rung” remains unfixed. For the eighth consecutive year, a broken rung at the first step up to manager is holding women back. For every 100 men who are promoted from entry-level roles to manager positions, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of color are promoted (Exhibit 2). As a result, men significantly outnumber women at the manager level, and women can never catch up. There are simply too few women to promote to senior leadership positions.

Challenge 2

More women leaders are leaving their companies. In fact, for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave their company.


About the Author

ISE Staff