Not until 1997 did a female become chief executive officer of a Fortune 500 corporation (Jill Barad, at Mattel Toy Co. Women’s progress since that time has been in fits and starts, exceedingly slow. The number of women CEOs reached 4 in 1999 only to slide back to 2 in 2001. Meanwhile, while not reaching anything approaching parity, women made significant strides in politics (as senators, cabinet secretaries and governors), in not-for-profit spheres (as CEOs of health care and hospital organizations or of United Way chapters, with budgets of billions of dollars), and at colleges and universities (23 % have female presidents or chancellors). Currently, 3%, or 15, of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
After examining in detail the educations, career progressions, pronouncements and observations, as well as family lives, of the 19 women who have risen to the top (sitting and former CEOs), this book asks, and attempts to answer, two questions:
Why haven’t more women reached the CEO suite?How might women in business better position themselves to ascend to the pinnacle?
Douglas M. Branson received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from Northwestern University. He earned an LL.M. from the University of Virginia, specializing in corporate law and securities regulation. Before joining the faculty at Pittsburgh, Professor Branson taught at Seattle University. He has been a visiting professor at a number of schools, including the University of Alabama as Charles Tweedy Distinguished Visiting Professor, the University of Hong Kong as Paul Hastings Distinguished Visiting Professor, the University of Washington (Seattle) as Condon-Faulknor Distinguished Professor, Cornell University, Arizona State University, Washington University (St. Louis), and universities in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Belgium, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, South Africa, and England. He holds a permanent faculty appointment as Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia, in its Masters of Law Program.