POST Online Media Lite Edition


Are you a woman and want to be a CEO? Get to the board first

Christian Fernsby |
As more companies seek top positions, women have a problem: they have no prior experience because companies avoid the risk of hiring them. So, what to do?

According to research from the Harvard Business Review Instead of needing prior CEO experience, more companies are accepting corporate board service as a proxy.

The study authors found it is far more common for female CEOs to have served on a public or private board than their male counterparts. And women are twice as likely as men to be promoted from a non-CEO title when recruited from the outside, they found.

“These findings not only illuminate a viable pathway to CEO for aspiring women but also offer a suggestion for companies and boards that seek gender diversity in their CEO ascension plans: Assist high-potential executive women in securing corporate board seats,” the report advised.

A study published this week by Deloitte shows that while gender diversity is improving across businesses in Asia, it trails behind the global trend. In Asia, women hold 9.3% of board seats but still behind the global trend of 16.9% women in board seats.

“In Singapore, several women hold senior leadership roles, but far fewer serve on boards. This is why we continue to strive for improvements,” says Seah Gek Choo, Southeast Asia and Singapore leader, Deloitte Center for Corporate Governance.

What to read next

Hit the ground running
Important things to consider before you quit your job
Should you hire a business coach?