The 2017 Fortune 500 Includes a Record Number of Women CEOs
The Fortune 500 just got a little more female-friendly.
After dropping to 21 last year, the number of women CEOs on the Fortune 500 has increased by more than 50%—from 21 to 32. That’s a new record: The 2017 ranking includes more female chiefs than any previous list since the first Fortune 500 ran in 1955.
There are two ways to look at that news. On one hand, the increase means that women are progressing up the American corporate ladder. On the other, 32 is still very, very low—just 6.4% of the list—and in no way representative of the wider population.
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This year’s list makes history this year for an additional reason: It is the first to feature a Latina CEO. PG&E Corporation’s (PCG) Geisha Williams stepped into the top role in March of this year.
Williams is one of just two women of color on the list, the other being PepsiCo’s (PEP) Indra Nooyi. It must be noted that there are no black women among the current Fortune 500 CEOs; Ursula Burns officially stepped down as chief of Xerox Corporation (XRX) in January.
Also among the newcomers are Hershey (HSY) CEO Michele Buck, an 11-year veteran of the company who previously held the COO job, and Mattel’s (MAT) Margo Georgiadis, who previously served as Google’s (GOOG) Americas president.
For a complete list of female CEOs in the Fortune 500, click here.