In corporate America, men still hold the vast majority of executive-level jobs — with one notable exception. At nearly 60 percent of the 100 biggest U.S. companies by revenue, the chief human resources officer is a woman, according to new data from Russell Reynolds Associates.
Last year, women made up more than half of newly appointed HR executives, a role that’s typically responsible for ensuring a company can acquire and develop the staff it needs to execute the larger business plan.
It’s also one of the few C-suite roles that almost never leads to the chief executive officer position. Treasurer and general counsel — other senior positions in which women have made headway — also aren’t seen as feeders for the top job.
Overall, women continue to be underrepresented in the top role at Fortune 100 companies. Last year, 10 such firms appointed new CEOs, according to the study. Only one was a woman — Gail Boudreaux at Anthem Inc. That makes a total of seven female CEOs among the 100 largest U.S. companies based on revenue.