Why Women Make Better CFOs

Oct 22, 2019

By Sunday Tollefson, MBA, PMP® 

BREAKING: The number of women CEOs now exceeds the number of men CEOs.... named John. That's progress, you can't deny that. 

Women executives comprise less than a quarter of all corporate leaders in the US.

A recent article by Bloomberg highlights why that might be shifting.  

See: Female CEOs Brought in $1.8 Trillion More Than Male Peers

Why? Women spend their careers being promoted on past performance while men are promoted for "potential." It stands to reason that women have more experience and expertise at equal points in their careers, such as at the moment they are promoted to CFO. Women have to be better performers than their males peers, and that explains why their performance is stronger.

A research study by S&P Global Market Intelligence analyzed 6000 companies over 17 years and found that, "within 24 months of appointing female CFOs, companies saw an average 6% increase in profits and an 8% better stock return compared to performance under male predecessors." Nonetheless, women CFOs make up only 13% of the CFOs in the Russell 3000 Index of corporations.  And women CEOs make up only 5%.

Boards of Directors would be wise to not only hire more women as executives, they would be wise to create metrics to measure how many women are moving through the pipeline to leadership roles. If you aren't measuring it, folks, you aren't doing it. 

If you are a professional woman, look at your self concept and determine if you envision the word "chief" in your job title in the future. And decide it is. 

Then envision being a chief officer, and surround yourself with people who also see this in your future.  Every step you take toward this future means you also clear the path for more women to do so.  

©2019 Sunday Tollefson



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