Women’s History Month: Progress in the C-Suite, But…

More firms are appointing women to top leadership posts. How to keep the momentum from stalling. 

As International Women’s Day returns (along with Women’s History Month), it’s easy to cite some of the recent strides female professionals have made. There are now 41 women leading S&P 500-listed firms, an all-time high. Meanwhile, women represented 41% of new board members at Russell 3000 Index-listed companies in 2022, also a record. Experts say these milestones are the result of five to 10 years of hard effort and may provide lessons for the business world as it tries to promote racial equality in leadership.

The aftermath of the pandemic, along with a high degree of economic uncertainty, has placed an added burden on women in the corporate world. Like their male counterparts, they’re being asked to push revenue and profits higher, but unlike men, they’re still expected to shoulder the responsibility of caring for dependents at home. It’s not surprising that 43% of women leaders said they were burned out, compared with 31% of men at the same level, according to a 2022 study by LeanIn.Org.

For this International Women’s Day, Korn Ferry has compiled our recent insights into how organizations can develop and maintain a healthy pipeline of female leaders; how to address the ongoing issue of gender pay equality; and what female professionals should expect from firms, and themselves, as they move through their careers.

50 Women CEOs Now… and Counting

A new milestone was finally reached, with 53 women now running Fortune 500 firms. Experts hope that number becomes a new floor, not a ceiling.

Journeys to the Top: How Women Reached the CEO Role

Twenty-one women share what helped them on their journey to the top job.

6 Ways Organizations Can Clear a Path for Women CEOs

Potential women CEOs need a clearer journey to the top. Here’s what your organization can do to help.

Leadership: How Grit Plays a Role

Recent personal stories told by women CEOs reveal a less often discussed role in leadership development, says Korn Ferry’s Laura Manson-Smith.

‘I No Longer Have Enough in the Tank’

New Zealand’s outgoing leader admitted she was burnt out. How many other leaders should do the same?

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.


For more information, contact Korn Ferry’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice.