Five Facts: The State of Female Leadership in the US

Female leadership remains an important topic in U.S. politics. While more women hold leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies than ever, they still represent a small minority of all private company leaders. This is also true for women in public office; there are more women serving in leadership positions in Congress and state houses around the country, but it is still not close to gender parity. On Tuesday, The Hill published an article on the women-led team at No Labels and our work towards political reform to combat partisanship. Read the full article here.

Here are five facts on the state of female leadership in the U.S., progress that has been made, and actions that have been taken to become a more equal society. 

1. There are 33 female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies today; this is less than 7 percent of all Fortune 500 CEOs. In contrast, there were 15 Fortune 500 female CEOs in 2009 and two in 1999. Today, there is also a record number of females sitting on Fortune 500 boards; more than 25 percent of seats are held by women. There are also a number of non-profits led by women; they make up 73 percent of nonprofit workers and 21 percent of large nonprofit CEOs, according to Network for Good. 

2. The U.S. has a relatively low number of women in managerial positions. In Jamaica, over 59 percent of managerial positions are held by women. In Colombia, 53 percent of managerial positions are held by women. In contrast, 43 percent of managerial positions in the U.S are held by women. Among the countries with the highest percentage of women in managerial position, the U.S. ranks 15. This is higher than France's and Spain's rankings but lower than Guatemala's and the Bahamas'. 

3. There is evidence that businesses with women in leadership positions perform better; a recent study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics showed that having women in C-Suite positions increase a company's net margins. Another study by Harvard Business Review showed that gender diversity at a company increases its market value and revenue. And the Boston Consulting Group found that businesses founded by women deliver higher revenue than their men-run counterparts. 

4. A record number of women are serving in the 116th Congress; 102 women are serving in the House of Representatives and 25 women are serving in the Senate. There is also significant representation of women in other parts of government. Three women are serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, seven women are serving in the Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions, ninewomen are governors, and over 2,000 women are serving in state legislatures. 

5. Part of the United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals is to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” Countries from Singapore to Japan to Canada have passed legislation to help achieve this. In 2017, the U.S. passed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” part of which changed the IRS code to help women who are victims of sexual harassment at work. 

No Labels is an organization of Democrats, Republicans, and independents working to bring American leaders together to solve problems.

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