Women are increasingly being hired for CFO roles this year, says an executive search firm president

Over the previous 12 months, I’ve had the chance to talk with dynamic girls within the CFO function. I all the time ask them if they’ve recommendation for different girls searching for to succeed in the C-suite.

“Seek mentors in your trade that are confirmed leaders who may also help you to additional your talent set on all fronts,” is a part of the recommendation Christiana Spade, AMC Networks’ CFO and COO who will develop into CEO subsequent month, recently told me.

I additionally ask their opinion about range in monetary management roles. “We want extra pipelines in finance,” Tracey T. Travis, EVP and CFO at The Estée Lauder Companies as soon as advised me. “It’s an ideal profession for girls, on the whole. So, we want extra girls and positively extra girls of shade.”

Last 12 months, 15% of CFOs at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 firms have been girls, an all-time excessive, in accordance with a report released in January by executive search firm Crist Kolder Associates. Considering how low that share is, it signifies we nonetheless have a protracted technique to go. 

So, now that we’re within the second half of 2022, is there continued progress in appointing girls to CFO roles? Shawn Cole, president of Cowen Partners Executive Search, primarily based in Vancouver, Wash., has some perception.

Using publicly accessible knowledge, Cole says the firm has tracked greater than 250 CFO appointments as of July 22 at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 firms, and different firms recognized to most people, he says. The evaluation contains firm finance chiefs, in addition to divisional and international CFO positions.

Most CFO hires in 2022 have been white males, however a few third of first-time CFOs and people promoted, have been girls, he says of the corporate’s calculations. And of that whole, he additionally says, 19% have been girls of shade. The report features a record of the businesses Cowen tracked with new CFOs up to now this 12 months, comparable to Walmart, Pfizer, crypto exchange Binance.US, and tech firm Klaviyo.

“I imagine the explanation we are seeing extra feminine CFOs now could be that for years firms have invested in hiring girls at ranges that enable for management growth,” Cole tells me. “Now, there’s a bench of certified candidates. We now see extra feminine VPs we and others can pull from. Additionally, inside promotions are a threat on an untested, unproven executive, however firms are taking that threat and so they are taking it increasingly on girls and other people of shade – as a result of they’ve a bench to attract from.” One of the report findings is that ladies of shade have been extra more likely to have earned their first-time CFO positions because of inside promotions, Cole says.

He additionally says the give attention to girls of shade in monetary management positions is pretty new.

“The final 5 years have seen a powerful demand for girls,” he explains, “although, the roles have largely gone to white girls. After the reckoning introduced on by George Floyd’s killing two years in the past, firms have been searching for particularly folks of shade. Half of all our searches are mandated range searches the place the consumer needs to solely see candidates of shade.”

Cole provides: “I’m of the opinion that firms ought to mirror the communities they serve, and many don’t. An all-white executive workforce and board sends a foul message to a traditionally numerous group.”

Cowen Partners’ analysis additionally discovered that ladies of shade who grew to become CFOs tended to have extra skilled credentials, comparable to a CPA, in accordance with Cole. “Diverse candidates all the time have extra credentials, in depth credentials CFA, CIA, CMA, and many others.,” he says.

“I feel they suppose they want extra credentials [for advancement],” and plenty of are deciding to acquire them, even when it’s not required by their employers, Cole says. “A white male will argue with me that they are certified for the job, and that doesn’t ever occur with extra numerous candidates,” he says.

However, credentials are usually most popular, not a requirement, Cole says. “Leadership, tender expertise, {and professional} expertise are crucial.”

See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada
[email protected]

Big deal

PwC Pulse Survey: Managing business risks discovered that U.S. enterprise executives view cybersecurity (40%) because the No. 1 enterprise threat dealing with their firms over the subsequent 12 months. And simply 30% see recession as a critical threat. Sixty-two p.c of executives suppose it is possible inflation will stay excessive. The majority (83%) are focusing the enterprise technique on development, which is greater than every other goal. When requested what modifications their firms are planning to make within the subsequent 12 months about half are rising investments in digital transformation (53%), IT (52%) and cybersecurity and privateness (49%). And 48% are rising funding in buyer expertise. However, 22% of firms are scaling again investments in actual property. This is probably going a response to hybrid and distant work, investments in actual property are declining greater than every other space of the enterprise, in accordance with PwC. The findings are primarily based on a survey of 722 C-suite leaders, comparable to CFOs, CHROs, CTOs, COOs and CMOs and different executives, carried out Aug. 1-5.

Courtesy of PwC

Going deeper

“Why Does Your ‘New’ Strategy Look Just Like Your Old One?,” a brand new report in Harvard Business Review, explains that though technique ought to be a artistic train, many firms ceaselessly find yourself with plans that are just like earlier ones. To keep away from this, technique knowledgeable Graham Kenny describes a three-step course of: 1) be open to concepts from exterior stakeholders, 2) study the place your efficiency is failing, and three) examine firms in different industries which have solved these issues, according to the report.


Amy Covert was named CFO at VitalConnect, Inc., a distant and in-hospital wearable biosensor know-how firm. Covert brings greater than 20 years of expertise to the function, in each private and non-private firms, primarily inside healthcare. She joins VitalConnect from HoverTech International, a medical gadget firm, the place she had served as CFO since 2019. At HoverTech, Covert had accountability for finance and accounting in addition to the operational group. Prior to HoverTech, she held numerous monetary management roles at BioTelemetry, Inc., a distant cardiac monitoring firm.

Dixit Joshi was named CFO at Credit Suisse Group, efficient October 1. Joshi will substitute David Mathers who determined to step down after greater than 11 years in his function as beforehand communicated. For the previous 5 years, Joshi served as Group Treasurer at Deutsche Bank. During his profession spanning three a long time, he held numerous senior funding banking roles throughout totally different geographies. Previously, Joshi served as Deutsche Bank’s Head of the Fixed-Income Institutional Client Group, Listed Derivatives and Markets Clearing in addition to Head of Global Prime Finance and Head of APAC Equities in Hong Kong. Before becoming a member of Deutsche Bank in 2011, Joshi held senior roles at Barclays Capital. Between 1995 and 2003, he labored for Credit Suisse in New York and London, having began his profession in 1992 at Standard Bank of South Africa.


“Fixed tradition asks, ‘Does this concept or individual match into what we’ve been?’ Fluid tradition asks, ‘Does this concept or individual add to what we wish to be?’ Fluid tradition acknowledges that excellence comes from amplifying the nice, not constraining the totally different.”

—Patrick Criteser, president and CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association, a 113-year-old, billion-dollar dairy co-op in Oregon, on the advantages of fluid firm tradition, as expressed in a Fortune opinion piece


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