The Number of Female Chief Executives Is Falling

By Claire Cain Miller | The New York Times | July 06, 2018
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The number of women leading the largest companies has always been small. This year, it got 25 percent smaller. 

The reversal is leading to a search beyond the usual explanations for why women don’t become chief executives — things like not being competitive enough, failing to chase opportunities for promotion and choosing work-life balance over high-powered jobs.

That’s because evidence shows that the obstacles for female executives aren’t just because of their individual choices. There are larger forces at work, experts say, rooted in biases against women in power, mothers who work or leaders who don’t fit the mold of the people who led before them.

For many years, it seemed as if the share of women at the top of corporate America would slowly increase over time. The number of women leading companies in the Fortune 500 had grown to 6.4 percent last year, a record high, from 2.6 percent a decade earlier.

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