The number of female CEOs remains pathetically and surely unjustly low.
Things are changing, slowly, but they are changing. The clear skill and success of Carolyn McCall and Liz Garfield (just for example) must help, even if they find it sometimes annoying to be on trial not just as executives, but for an entire gender of bosses.
(I’m guessing, not speaking for them. Don’t write in.)
Sometimes a flak has asked me if I can stop noting that the boss of the company is a woman. Sure, I say, the very minute it stops being notable.
Getting to my point: while male hacks are united (united I tell you) in the desire to see more women CEOs, some have made the point that they are harder to get stories from.
On results calls, male CEOs stick to the script as much as women CEOs.
Over a casual lunch, men CEOs are more likely to relax, gossip, slag off their rivals and their predecessors, and trust that the hack will treat this in a way that doesn’t drop them in it.
Female CEOs remain circumspect even over the lunch, I think, though the pool remains too small for an academic study to be made.
If my thesis is right, it’s the opposite of what old stereotypes would have you believe. Men are serious and expect to be taken seriously. Women like to chit-chat and are good with people.
Perhaps this seriousness is a function of the fact that the woman CEO had to work much harder to get where she got and doesn’t want to take a pointless risk in a chat with a hack.
Or perhaps I’ve got it wrong…..