Women CEOs Speak: The Podcast Series

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.

Korn Ferry partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation in a research project. Fifty seven women CEOs were interviewed, some of whom led Fortune 500 companies, the rest oversaw privately-held or Fortune 1000 organizations. With the ultimate goal of having 100 women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies by 2025, the study has gained international attention.

In the first installment of a new six-part podcast series, “Women CEOs Speak,” Evelyn Orr, chief operating officer for the Korn Ferry Institute, and Jane Stevenson, global leader for CEO Succession, dissect what we learned from conducting this fascinating research. Part 1, “Women CEOs Speak: Research Foundations,” looks at common qualities shared by the women who became CEO. Look for future episodes focusing on other critical issues, including how organizations can tap into 100% of their talent pool, how women can advance their careers, the pivotal roles of mentors, and the strategies to deal with sexism in the workplace.  

Listen to Part 1 here:



  • Evelyn Orr

    Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Korn Ferry Institute

    Bio >
  • Jane Stevenson

    Global Leader for CEO Succession and Vice Chairman, Board & CEO Services

    Bio >