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CFO Insights: Journey to CFO — What’s changed for women in 2017?

Published on: Nov 02, 2017

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You may be familiar with the numbers: women earn more than half of college degrees in accounting, and hold more than half of accounting and auditing positions in the U.S. Yet, as of January 2017, women occupy only 61 CFO positions within the Fortune 500 (12.5%), a decline from 2015, when women accounted for 13.8% of such positions.

Moreover, in our latest CFO Signals™ survey, we’ve seen a decline in the number of women who are the direct reports of CFOs at large organization — arguably an important resource pool for the next generation of CFOs. Although CFOs gave a wide range of responses when asked how many direct reports they have, the most common gender combination in Q1 2014 stood at five men, two women, while in Q3 2017, it fell to six men, one woman.

Despite these indicators, women have made slow but steady progress over the past decade. The slow pace of change raises a question: What factors are at play regarding women’s progress toward the C-suite? More important, what can women who aspire to the top of the profession do differently — if anything — to get there?

This publication was released by our US firm.


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