Report reveals a lifetime ahead for global CEO gender parity

Sobering statistics show there is a 117-year wait towards gender parity at the highest levels of corporate leadership globally, according to Global CEO Turnover Index FTSE 100.

This report highlighted that women CEO departures are three times more likely to leave for personal reasons than men and faced a higher dismissal rate at 34% compared to men’s dismissal rate at 25%.

Additionally, the global CEO turnover rate stood at 10% in 2023, with retirements constituting 29% of departures and dismissals making up 27%, reflecting the challenges CEOs face in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

It calls for organisations to re-evaluate their approaches and address unique challenges faced by women through fostering policies which support women’s work-life balance.

Joanna Kori, Head of People, Encompass Corporation: “These are undoubtedly striking statistics, which serve as a reminder that we must collectively prioritise and work towards tangible progress when it comes to improving diversity and the gender balance at the highest level of business.

"The prediction that it will take a lifetime to see parity in these leadership positions is one that should not be ignored, and it is crucial that organisations demonstrate commitment to removing barriers and providing a platform for strong female voices to shine through and be heard. Addressing challenges faced by women in the workplace, at every level, is the first step to closing this gender gap sooner and benefiting from the vast experience, skills and differing perspectives women have to offer.

"Businesses must proactively assess their strategies to ensure they are promoting inclusivity and opportunities for all, while enabling the kind of flexibility, for example, which will enable women to feel supported and encouraged to achieve their professional goals."

Margo Waldorf, Founder of the Change Awards, commented: “Diversity is an essential part of any organisation, especially at board level, to bring fresh ideas, challenge the status quo and drive innovative decision making. Unfortunately, the reality is that far too many companies lack representation at C-Level, let alone the CEO, and too often that results in a knock-on impact on representation throughout the organisation. We can’t continue to let female CEOs walk away.”

“To start bridging this gap, we must see a widespread change mindset filter through companies, whether it’s change to recruitment to bring in a more diverse talent pool or digital transformation to equip all staff with the technology and skills they need to climb the ladder. This can help organisations better retain their leadership teams, as well as producing skilled female staff who want to strive towards these leadership roles. Covia is an example of how a change mindset can encourage diversity and productivity, using problem-solving and change skills to create a focus on fostering collaboration within the team regardless of their sexes or gender.”