Women Now Hold Majority of CHRO Jobs at Fortune 200

Women dominate the human resources profession. Three out of four HR professionals are women, a ratio that holds true at every level until you get to the most senior management position. Until recently, women didn’t hold even a majority of the executive HR jobs at the largest public companies..

The good news today is that women now hold two-thirds of the CHRO roles at the Fortune 200.

study by The Talent Strategy Group says that in just the last year, the percent of women holding the top HR job at these companies grew from 60% to 67.3%. Only a few short years ago, the HR trade group SHRM reported only 49% of HR executives at the top 100 companies were women.

More women CHROs were appointed in 2019 than in the previous three years, the study found. 78% of the CHROs hired last year were women. Of the 36 new CHROs, 43% of them replaced a man. In only 7% of the hires did a man replace a female CHRO.

The report also offers strong evidence that CHROs are being valued as business partners. Of the departing CHROs, 31% assumed larger responsibilities within the organization “most notably,” the report says, “a Chief Administration Officer role or Advisor to the CEO role.”

Overall, the report identifies 7 “CHRO Trends.” In addition to the increase in female leaders and the move into other senior internal positions, the report says:

  • HR experience dominates – 83% of the new CHROs have “significant” HR experience.
  • Advanced degrees are prevalent – 65% have a master’s or law degree.
  • Internal promotion declines – “In 2017, 70% of CHROs were internal successors compared to 61% in 2018 and 53% in 2019.”
  • CHRO turnover is linked to CEO turnover – ” Of the 35 new CEOs who came into the role in 2019, 40% replaced their CHRO.”
  • CHRO turnover increased in 2019 – 19% of the Fortune 200 CHROs turned over, with those in the financial and health care sectors 3.5 times more likely to turnover than those in other industries.
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