Women in the C-Suite and Executive Leadership With P&L Responsibility

Chair, Subha Barry, President Working Mother Media

  • According to the World Economic Forum the proportion of women in senior executive roles globally has been stuck at 24% for more than a decade
  • In the United States, one in five women are C-Suite leaders; one in 25 C-Suite leaders are women of color (2018 Women in the Workplace – McKinsey/Lean In)
  • A recent ISS Analytics study showed that nearly 80% of women executives are concentrated in finance, legal and HR, not in operating roles that lead to CEO opportunities
  • Working Mother Media’s 2019 survey of 3000 men and women leaders showed that 64% of men vs. 37% of women said their company provides information on career paths to executive positions; moreover, 48% of men said they have received detailed information on career paths to P&L jobs in the past 24 months vs. just 15% of women – and 46% of men were encouraged to consider operating roles vs. 14% of women


  • Provide women with the same access afforded their male colleagues to information about how to advance, and encouragement to move onto a P&L track, if not into executive roles
  • Ensure that succession plans that lead to senior roles reflect an insistence on gender and diversity parity
  • Hold managers accountable for placing, developing and advancing emerging high-potential diverse female leaders into P&L roles
WBC asks:

Could 10% women of color make up the C-Suite by 2025 (from 4% currently)?

Could 8% of women occupying the C-Suite by 2025 have substantial P&L responsibility (from 5% currently)?