The Essentials: Women in Leadership

Why some big milestones may be masking some troubling signs.

38 and 900,000. The first number is how many women are leading Fortune 500 firms, an all-time high and up 50% from 2017. The second is the number of women who reported being unemployed in November, four times the number of men without work.

Those two stats represented the state of women in leadership in a nutshell. There have been some excellent strides at the top, but much work needs to be done to ensure that there are enough women who, in a few years, will be qualified and ready to ascend to the pinnacles of leadership.

In this edition of Essentials, Korn Ferry recaps the biggest trends in 2020 and what women—and men—can do to get more females into management roles.

Women CEOs Reach an All-Time High, But…

Why experts worry the pandemic and other obstacles could undo the years of hard work that reshaped the C-suite.

A Mass Exodus Among Women

Four times more women than men are leaving the workforce. Experts fear a “total wipeout” of years of gender progress.

Want Higher Profits? Hire a Female CEO, CFO

A new study shows top women execs produce superior returns in their first two years on the job. “The evidence is getting louder.”

The New Roadblock for Women: Performance Reviews

Nearly six in 10 women get vague performance reviews, stymieing their leadership growth.

Glass-Cliff Roles: Go for It

So-called “glass cliff” jobs carry big risks, but Korn Ferry’s Evelyn Orr sees important opportunities for the women and minorities who take them.