Women as CEOs: The Problems and the Promise

IT

An interview with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, conducted earlier this month by Walter Isaacson for Amanpour & Co. on PBS, is worth watching. Ginni is one of the most successful CEOs in the United States. One of the questions that jumped out at me had to do with why the number of female CEOs has been declining.

I’ve followed several female CEOs over the years. Most of the ones I’ve followed have failed, largely because they were both unqualified for the job and their boards didn’t back them up. In several cases, the board and the CEO seemed to be in conflict, or the board simply didn’t do anything.

Those failures have created the impression that female CEOs are a bad bet. However, I believe the real problem is that boards haven’t been doing their jobs — particularly with female CEOs. You see, I think women make better CEOs than men, but only if they are trained and supported as well, and often that just isn’t the case.

I’ll explain and then close with my product of the week: the Jaguar iPace, which I finally got to test drive!

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