Julie Sweet’s appointment as CEO of Accenture adds another name to the growing list of women heads at Fortune Global 500 companies.
Sweet has been handed over the leadership of the consulting firm taking over the mantle of CEO from David Rowland, who was serving as the interim chief executive.
Julie Sweet is a former lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She was the 9th female named partner of in the firm’s history. She started work at Accenture as the general counsel in 2010.
Julie Sweet is now among 12 women leading a Fortune Global 500 company and 27 women leading an S&P 500 company.
She is currently the chief executive of Accenture in North America, the biggest geographic market for the company. Sweet has been playing an integral role in the company’s business and investment strategy.
Change in corporate mentality
Julie Sweet is now among 12 women leading a Fortune Global 500 company and 27 women leading an S&P 500 company. In addition to Julie Sweet, Accenture has also promoted KC McClure to the position of Chief Financial Officer, making the firm a rare company to have female CFO and CEO.
Accenture also promoted KC McClure as Chief Financial Officer, making the firm a rare company to have female CFO and CEO.
The diversification of Board members is a topic of long debate. Earlier, companies used to stay away from such issues by citing various excuses, such as our customer base doesn’t require a woman to lead the firm. This mentality is slowly changing, and the results are evident.
The female footprint on Fortune 500
In the June edition of Fortune 500, a record 34 women were at the position of CEO. The number is even worse in the case of Fortune Global 500, with only 11 women CEOs in the last list.
Although the number looks meagre, it’s still a big gain from 2018’s dip to 24 because of a number of CEOs such as Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo’s calling it a day. The number has improved, but is still short of what people expect.
With a record 34 women CEOs in Fortune 500, the number has improved, but is still way short of equality in terms of gender.
The rise of female CEOs in the corporate world is the result of women been given more and more opportunities to sit in the boardrooms in the last few years.
Disparity still exists
According to Forbes, 15 years ago women constituted around 15% of the directors, this number has risen to 25% in 2019. Research from Christy Glass co-authored by Alison Cook has shown that women are more likely to be appointed CEOs when boards are well-integrated with women.
The #MeToo movement is also seen as a factor which made companies focus more on diversifying the company’s environment including the board room. Now the companies are really seeing business value in diversity which is now driving who’s being added to boards.
15 years ago women constituted around 15% of the directors, this number has risen to 25% in 2019.
This shift in company’s governance has created an environment which further increases the number of minorities in boardrooms and in the CEOs post as well. But a corporate world with women on par with men on the top spot is an idea that still has a long way to go.
By: Ishant Chaudhary, Editorial Desk, DKODING Media