Getting women into leadership positions has been a long struggle for the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, the Fortune 500 list lacked any women CEOs as recently as 1995. Although there’s been some improvement since then, it’s not enough.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) — an auditing firm — released a 2018 “CEO Success Story” study that found there was little progress for women. Incoming women CEOs only made up 4.9 percent of the share in 2018.
“This is down slightly from the all-time high of 6% in 2017, but it continues an upward trend from the low point of 1% in 2008,” the study said.
Axios reported that globally, it was developed countries — especially the United States and Japan — who “showed little to no pickup in hiring women for top positions last year.”
The lack of women in leadership — whether that is as CEOs or within other top executive positions — has been noted for decades. Although companies continue to struggle with appointing women to these positions, the numbers do vary by industry.
According to Axios, the utilities industry had the largest share of women CEOs at 9.5 percent. That was followed by communications services (7.5 percent) and financial services (7.4 percent).
However, tech as an industry continues to lag behind. In 2018, Entelo’s Women In Tech Report found that the more senior a position, the lower the proportion of women. At the executive level, only 10 percent of roles in tech are held by women.
It is hard to anticipate what the numbers will be in the future, given how often they fluctuated in the past few years alone. Hopefully, women will see some improvement.