Women CEOs Speak Podcast: The Critical Moments

In the podcast series finale, learn which events and experiences shaped the nation's top female executives.

There is a yawning gender gap in Corporate America. Women make up 45% of the S&P 500’s workforce and they are CEOs at only 5% of those S&P 500 firms. Studies show that companies with disproportionately low numbers of women in leadership do not perform as well as those with a more balanced gender ratio. For years, boards have vowed to change that formula, yet still it remains.

To help spur changes, Korn Ferry partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to interview 57 women CEOs. The ultimate goal: 100 women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies by 2025. Over the course of 2018, Korn Ferry talks about the insights gleaned from the interviews and other research in a six-part podcast series, "Women CEOs Speak."

Part 6, “Formative Experiences,” highights the events and moments that shaped the nation's top female executives. Many of these moments happened outside the office and well before the women even thought about pursuing a career in senior management. Speaking on the podcast are Evelyn Orr, chief operating officer for the Korn Ferry Institute, and Jane Stevenson, Korn Ferry's global leader for CEO Succession.

Listen to Part 6 here:

Listen to earlier installments of Women CEOs Speak:

Part 1: Research Foundations looks at common qualities shared by the women who became CEO.

Part 2: What Organizations Can Do reveals how companies and institutions can identify and nuture top female leadership candidates.

Part 3: What Women Can Do lays out a roadmap for women at any level who aspire to the c-suite, including what strategies to follow, what opportunities to seek out, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Part 4: Dealing with Sexism in the Workplace deals with how sexism shows up and what strategies to use to overcome it. 

Part 5: Mentors & Sponsors highlights the roles, both big and small, that other people have played to promote the careers of the nation's top female executives.