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More than half of companies don't even think about woman as CEO

Christian Fernsby |
More than half of organizations didn’t assess a single female candidate when looking for their next CEO, according to a new DDI study.


When only one woman was in the CEO pool, she was never selected for the role. Furthermore, female candidates comprised only 25 percent of executive candidates and 19 percent of C-level candidates.

The findings come from the Executive Leadership Outlook 2020: Five Actions for Building a Stronger Executive Bench. The study collected data from more than 55,000 executive assessments, including 1,100 CEO candidates over a decade.

“The lack of diversity revealed in the Executive Leadership Outlook 2020 presents missed opportunities to identify and develop talent from new backgrounds and areas,” said Stephanie Neal, director of DDI’s Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER).

“Organizations that want to unleash new capabilities and future talent need to seek out leaders who think and operate differently. They’re going to need stronger, more inclusive pipelines to find these fresh perspectives and wisdom.”

Along with diversity and inclusion shortcomings, the study revealed executives and C-level candidates are often unprepared to step into higher positions, lacking development in critical capabilities.

“The Executive Leadership Outlook 2020 provides an inside look at who organizations consider for senior roles, and where their strengths and weaknesses lie,” Neal said. “This data helps companies better understand where they need to focus to prepare leaders for their most important and highest risk roles.”


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