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NextGen Magazine


Study Finds Female CEOs Do Best When Promoted from Within, Groomed for Position

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 12, 2018
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A recent study looked at every large company CEO succession between 1989 and 2009 and found that female CEOs are most likely to get positive financial results within three years when promoted from within and have spent many years being groomed for the position, according to Inc. In such cases, the female successor had generally been hand-picked by the outgoing CEO, who had spent years overseeing their professional development. In other words, they had been mentored by the outgoing CEO to eventually take on their role. The study also found, though, that these female CEOs do best, in terms of financial results, when that mentor then steps back and doesn't stick around in an advisory role, such as a board member (the exception was smaller organizations and industries that are not heavily male). 

In contrast, male CEOs are more likely to drive positive performance within their first three years when hired from the outside, based on already established track records, with very little grooming for the position.