Skip to main content

"Why Are Most Fortune 500 CEOs Male?" - My Top 10 List

1. The notion of what it means to be a corporate CEO is tilted towards socially constructed norms of "maleness" - appearance, demeanor, personality.

2. Boys are still taught to lead, dominate, conquer, take charge and men feel obligated to do so, e.g. the military is mostly male and is still viewed as a male domain.

3. There is a biological element here that has to be taken into account, e.g. hormones do affect behavior. 

4. Girls are taught the converse of what boys are taught, albeit implicitly, subtly, etc. "Soft sexism" is very real and it is not respectful of women either at work or at home.

5. Children require thinking and rethinking priorities and more often, women will choose children first over the effort required to climb the corporate ladder - which is not as fulfilling for most.

6. Same as #5, but for relationships. Corporate success requires long hours and frequent overnight travel, as well as relocation as needed. These are all relationship-killers.

7. Women are less likely to be groomed/mentored for corporate success because the mentor if male may fear accusations of harassment; women fear competition especially since there are fewer seats in the C suite for women than men.

8. Women have trouble with the notion that they are financially responsible for themselves (because it implies there is no Prince Charming and they will end up alone)  versus men assume they must be financially literate.

9. Women have trouble with self esteem and so do not demand what they rightfully deserve.

10. The CEO job is conceived of in a way that reflects old-fashioned stereotypes about work and the division of labor - most obviously that one person occupies the job rather than two partners. If CEOs had job-sharing, this would make it easier for women to aspire to the role without harming their ability to be caregivers as well as serious participants in committed romantic relationships.

All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my agency or the federal government as a whole. Photo by thetaxhaven via Flickr. This post began as an answer to a question posted on

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …