“Only 3% of CEOs are women…”

August 29, 2018

I was surprised to read this stat in this recent article from the Economist. Compared to a theoretical world in 2069 where 50% of global CEOs may be women, today the actual statistic is very disappointing: just 3%. This low number almost becomes comical in detailed stats, such as in Britain, the leaders of the FTSE 100 included more "Davids" (8) than women (7). After overcoming my initial amazement at such a low figure overall, the real question I asked myself was: Why does leadership equality matter?

There are many reasons, but one good response comes from the concept of groupthink or what we see with Checkster's reference checking service as the opposite of collective intelligence. Having less homogeneity in thoughts can lead to fewer mistakes and better outcomes. That is the foundation of our talent decision platform, and is well portrayed by this Economist article:

“Feminists’ claims, back in 2008, that the financial crisis could have been averted had Lehman Brothers been Lehman Sisters instead, were undermined in the crash of 2048. It was triggered by the collapse of Wealth4us, an entirely female-led bank. The fiasco illustrated two things: that homogeneity and groupthink are corporate risks, and that true parity has been reached, with female CEOs now as likely to be flawed as male ones. That is not to say that there are no differences in leadership style between the sexes.”