#GetOnBoard Statistics

Despite progress, women are scarce among senior leaders. Very few women are CEOs of the world’s largest corporations. As of the 2018 Fortune list, only 24 women (4.8%) were CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.


Women are gradually gaining representation among Executive Committees (ECs) in Fortune Global 100 companies, but are still a small minority. In 2017, women accounted for 22% of EC roles in the Americas, 15% in Europe, and only 4% in Asia.

Women held only 15% of board director seats worldwide in 2017, a small increase from 12% in 2015.

Less than a quarter (22%) of board directors in the S&P 500 were women in 2017. (The share of women sitting on the boards of Fortune 500 companies has more than doubled, from 9.6% in 1995 to 22.2% in 2017).

Women account for less than a quarter (24%) of senior roles globally.

Women represent 45% of the S&P 500 workforce, but only 4% of the CEOs.

In a study of nearly 22,000 publicly traded organizations world-wide, 60% have NO female board members. An analysis done on Fortune 500 companies found that companies that have women in top management roles experience what is called ‘innovation intensity’ and produce more patents — by an average of 20 percent more than teams with male leaders.

Apple, No. 1 on Fortune’s list, falls in line with the trend. Of their 107 top executives, 19 are women. Across the board, the company reports that 29 percent of its leadership roles are filled by women.

The share of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies reached an all-time high of 6.4% in 2017, with 32 women heading major firms. But the share fell to 4.8% in 2018. As recently as 1995, there were no female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list.

The #GetOnBoard Campaign is brought to you by How Women Lead, a nonprofit working with some of the most powerful executives and leading companies in the Bay Area & Silicon Valley to build workplaces that work for women. We help organizations accelerate progress for women at work by providing latest research, practical tools and proven solutions to remove barriers and drive change. Visit our homepage here.