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Female CEOs inspire female executives to aim higher

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Female executives are more likely to want to become a CEO one day if their current CEO is also a woman, according to research from Weber Shandwick.

On average, just under a quarter (23%) of female executives wanted to become a CEO. However, if they were led by a female the number rose to 29%.

The Female CEO Reputation Premium report also found that the majority (69%) of respondents thought it was important to see more female CEOs. Women were more likely to have this opinion, with 84% of female respondents agreeing compared to 60% of males.

President of Weber Shandwick, Gail Heimann explained that having a female CEO motivates female executives to strive for the top positions themselves. “These results lead to the undeniable conclusion that if we really want gender equality at the top we must promote more women into CEO positions and do it now.”

Half (50%) of the males and more than half (58%) of the females surveyed said that the leading justification for increasing the number of female CEOs was to create more female role models and mentors.

Heather Jackson, founder and chair of An Inspirational Journey, said the visibility and approachability of female role models is vital. “We need to show aspiring leaders that skilled and talented women may be at this moment poorly represented at the top echelons of business, but they are there,” she told HR magazine.

“Given the culture changes that are currently occurring within many organisations, soon more can follow in their career footsteps, ensuring a future where the best talent can lead regardless of gender.”