I found several fascinating things on the web last week in which women CEOs were recognized for their extraordinary achievements and – just as helpful from a gender-partnership perspective – treated just like “one of the boys” (in a good way).
Number of Female CEOs at F500 Companies Increases
Last week Fortune magazine hailed this news in a headline on its blog: “Number of Fortune 500 women CEOs reaches historic high.” Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? Well, the number has reached 24, which is an increase of four from 2013. That’s good news.
But the “historic high” is the part of the announcement I have trouble with. Fortune has only been tracking the number of female CEOs in top-earning companies for the past seven years. And these 24 women account for just 4.8% of the CEOs on the list. To my mind, “historic” will be when women account for 20% or 30% — or 50%! That’s when I’ll break out the champagne.
CEOs Recommended to Investors
The first is an article by Will Ashworth on Investorplace.com called 4 Best Female CEOs to Bet On. These are women heading very successful companies that Ashworth is recommending his readers to invest in. They include:
#1 Carol Meyrowitz of TJX Companies. TJX includes Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx, among others. Since Meyrowitz was named CEO in January 2007 (31 years after joining the company), TJX stock has had an annualized total return of 23%. When she took over, its annual revenues were $17.4 billion. They are now $10 billion higher.
#2 Laura Alber of Williams Sonoma. Starting in 2008, when Alber took charge, Williams Sonoma stock hasn’t had a single year of negative returns. From May 2008 to the present, it has reached a cumulative total return of 190%.
#3 Mindy Grossman of Home Shopping Network. Hired in 2006 as the networks’ eighth CEO in 10 years (despite having no experience in TV), Grossman worked wonders, taking the company public in 2008. Since being spun-off by its parent company in August 2008, their stock is up nearly 370%.
#4 — Susan Cameron of Reynolds American. Cameron deserves our special attention because her CEO-ship spans a two year break she took to spend more time with her family and recharge her batteries. Ashworth calls her “one of the best CEOs anywhere.”
I highly recommend reading Ashworth’s full post for more juicy details on these powerhouse women!
An Investment Fund of Women-Run Companies
Sallie Krawcheck of the women’s network 85 Broads (now renamed Ellevate) has partnered with Pax to establish the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund. The fund will invest in companies with more women on their boards and in top leadership positions. Their goal is to attract investors who are attracted to social impact funds and who want the documented financial benefits of a greater level of gender partnership. For more details, see this post on Yahoo Finance’s The Daily Ticker.
Now for the Fun Stuff
As you have no doubt noticed, World Cup madness has taken over the globe, and with it comes celebrity status for many of its players. This status – like status in all fields – is often enhanced by being given nicknames by the media. On the Brazilian team, for example, Givanildo Vieira de Souza is called Hulk (no wonder sports announcers come up with nicknames).
Now Fortune.com has decided to use the online Brazilian nickname generator to answer the question, “What would some of the top Fortune 500 CEOs’ names be if they traded the boardroom for the soccer field?”
Why am I telling you this? Because of the 10 CEOs nicknamed, five are women. I honestly don’t think this could have happened a year ago. But the conversation about gender equity has really started to permeate the minds of men and we are no longer unconsciously unconsidered.
Here’s a taste of the nicknames:
- Mary “Recall” Barra of GM, no explanation needed.
- Elizabeth “New Blood” Holmes of Theranos, the blood diagnostics company she founded while still a student at Stanford.
- Virginia “Kappa Kappa Gamma” Rometty of IBM, who was president of her sorority at Northwestern.
Read the full post, 10 CEOs and their wacky World Cup nicknames.