ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Women CEOs: Why So Few?
By Herminia Ibarra and Morten T. Hansen
Tuesday, 29th December 2009
Nancy McKinstry, CEO of Wolters Kluwer, a Dutch publishing and information company, recalled holding a strategy meeting in which the press in Holland wrote that she wore a suit that was the same color as the KLM flight attendants'.

As she told the New York Times recently, "Here we were talking about the plans for the business and that's what they focused on."

In spite of progress in the past decade, women still face tougher odds getting to ?and staying in ?the C-suite.

When we studied the leadership of 2,000 of the world's top performing companies, we found only 29 (1.5%) of those CEOs were women, an even smaller percentage than on the Fortune 500 Global list (2.6%). So it should not come as a surprise that only one woman, Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, made it to the top 100 of our rankings.

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