Diversity: Women at the Top

When organizations are looking to implement and expand diversity initiatives, experts often advise, “diversity must start at the top.”

This refers to a top-down mindset, in that senior leadership buy-in is required, but it also means diversity at the top of the organization: senior leadership must include women, people of color, and individuals from other underrepresented groups.

Recent analysis of CEO turnover at U.S.-based companies, from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, finds that at the very top, organizations are making progress.

More women

Of 591 replacement CEOs recorded in the first half of 2020, 138 or 23.4% were women. This is up from 21.6% of female CEO replacements in the first half of 2019 and 18.6% in the first half of 2018.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Note: Challenger tracks CEO changes at U.S.-based companies nationwide that have been in business for at least two years and have a minimum of 10 employees.

What’s more, it’s the highest rate recorded since Challenger began tracking gender data in 2010. The 2020 rate is also significantly higher than in 2010, when 12.4% of CEO replacements were women.

Commenting about the data, Andrew Challenger, vice president of the firm, acknowledged a

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