Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fortune 500 Companies Should Learn from the Ivy League and Have More Female CEOs

CNNMoney is celebrating that Fortune 500 women CEOs hit a milestone in that, as of January 1, 2013, there are now 21 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies with recent female leaders heading up such high tech firms as Lockheed Martin, HP, Yahoo, and IBM and even General Dynamics.

Alright, so the fact that 21 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are now females is certainly reason to celebrate but this is still a measly 4.2%. And it is certainly terrific that there are now 20 female Senators in the US Congress.

Now, let's look at the Ivy League colleges -- that is where the representation at the top -- at the Presidential level -- reflects more the population at large in terms of gender and we should be celebrating that.

As we start off the New 2013 Year,  5 our of the 8 Ivy League universities are being led by females.

My alma mater, Brown University, has as its new President, Dr. Christina Paxson, who, just a few months ago, took over the Presidency of brown after the long leadership of Dr. Ruth Simmons. Very cool that Brown picked another female President!

Harvard University, also my alma mater since I was a Radcliffe Fellow, has at its helm, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, whom I have also blogged about. She was the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study while I was a Fellow there and took over after Dr. Larry Summers stepped down from the Presidency of Harvard.

Princeton University is still being led by Dr. Shirley Tilghman, but she will be stepping down soon -- will Princeton select another female is its new President?

Dr. Amy Gutmann has been the President of UPenn since 2004 and has done wonderful things for this Ivy League institution.

And Dr. Carol Folt is now the Interim President at Dartmouth College. She has this position until Dr. Philip Hanlon (male) assumes the Presidency of Dartmouth soon.  I have blogged about him since he is a mathematician and we have an intellectual connection since his dissertation advisor at CalTech was Dr. Olga Taussky-Todd and I used one of her theorems in my doctoral dissertation.

Columbia University, Yale University, and Cornell University, which complete the roster of eight Ivy League universities, are led by males and, as far as I know, have always had male Presidents. The incoming President of Yale will be male. Dr. Peter Salovey, Yale's Provost,  will replace Dr. Richard C. Levin who is stepping down.

So, for the here and now, we should celebrate that, when noone was paying attention, now the majority of Ivy League universities -- among the elite institutions  of higher education in the world -- are now being led by females!

Fortune 500 companies -- take notice!