50+ Eye-Opening Branding Statistics - 2021 Edition

50+ Eye-Opening Branding Statistics - 2021 Edition
ByIvana V.
October 04,2021

In the consumer society we live in, people are constantly bombarded with different products and services - from the moment they get up until they go to sleep, across different devices, and in real life.  A young company emerging in such a tough market can find it difficult to establish itself.  

And that’s where branding comes in. The primary purpose of branding is helping businesses stand out from the competition. Branding your company means sharing your brand values with customers and creating trusting relationships with them.

Top Branding Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand.
  • Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%
  • 73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service.
  • Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. 
  • 1/3 of the world’s top 100 brands include the color blue in their logos.
  • 72% of the best brand names are made up words or acronyms. 
  • Brands with poor company branding pay 10% higher salaries.
  • Over 70% of brand managers consider building an audience more important than converting sales.
  • 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.
  • Brands that blog generate 67% more leads.

General Branding Stats

82% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading customized content.

(Demand Metric)

Creating meaningful content and publishing it on a regular basis is an excellent way to improve brand visibility and convey your company values to existing and potential consumers alike. A vast majority of people are left with positive emotions after reading content published by the brands they follow.

61% of people are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content.

(Contently)

On top of making your customers feel good, one of a kind content will inspire them to make a purchase. Contently’s stats about brand voice show that shoppers are more likely to buy products and services from brands that have a unique voice and share their content regularly.

94% of customers are likely to show loyalty to a brand that offers complete transparency.

(Label Insight)

A consumer behavior study which included 2,000 respondents suggests that people are significantly more loyal to brands that are transparent about different aspects of their business. When it comes to food and personal care products in particular, consumers value companies that are honest about the ingredients they use, Label Insight’s brand loyalty statistics inform.

On average, it takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember your brand.

(Pam Moore)

You need to put your brand out there for people to recognize it. With a plethora of brands on the market, people need to see your logo more than 5 times to be able to connect it with your company. We suggest taking advantage of social media and professional branding techniques to send a consistent yet dynamic brand message to consumers every day.

73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service.

(Curatti)

As Curatti’s branding statistics remind us, a brand is made up of the sum of experiences people have with your company. Friendly and helpful customer service contributes greatly to forming a positive impression on customers, with almost three-quarters saying they love a brand precisely for that reason.

13% of consumers would pay 31-50% more for your products or services if they were under the impression that your business is making a positive impact on the world.

(Customer Thermometer)

Brand impressions matter, there’s no doubt about it. But did you know you can capitalize on promoting the values consumers view as upstanding? When a company cares about the environment, consumers don’t mind paying more for its products or services - in some cases up to 50% more.

73% of people prefer brands that personalize the shopping experience.

(WP forms)

If you are uncertain about what keeps customers coming back to some brands, we’ll let you in on the secret. People love a personalized shopping experience. Sending customized emails and offering special deals based on your customers’ previous purchases is perceived very well by the majority of modern shoppers.

Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%.

(Forbes)

Cultivating a brand image is fairly simple. Consistently using one color palette on your logo, products, digital content, and promotional material can drive your brand recognition up by as much as 80%.

But what is brand recognition? It’s the extent to which customers can correctly identify a brand when seeing a logo, a product, or anything else previously mentioned.

Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.

(Forbes)

If your product packaging, social media posts, website, and promotional material send a uniform message about your brand identity and its core values, you are more likely to cash in. The importance of brand recognition comes down to higher revenue.

62% of consumers share online deals with their friends.

(WP Forms)

Offering great deals online can be the solution for businesses dwelling on how to grow their brand exposure. When you offer irresistible discounts online, more than 60% of people will be compelled to share them with their loved ones. Attractive online deals can increase your brand visibility - and fast.

64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand.

(Consumer Thermometer)

Strong branding provokes emotions, and no one is immune to this effect. Interest, trust, and optimism are the top three feelings people experience in relation to the brands they prefer. If you stir up such feelings with the products you offer, you have a shot at gaining loyal customers.

39% of consumers would start using a brand if it offered full product transparency.

(Label Insight)

The fact that over a third of consumers are open to using a new product provided it offered full product transparency is a testimonial to the importance of brand honesty.

59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from the brands they trust.

(Invesp)

Yesterday’s successful branding efforts can help you launch new products today. If you had previously gained the trust of your customers, you’ll have no trouble introducing new lines of products, as almost 60% will be willing to try them out.

38% of moms are more likely to purchase products and services from brands other women “Like” on Facebook.

(Invesp)

According to Invesp, moms trust brands other women recommend on Facebook by liking them. Over a third of moms would buy products and services from brands deemed trustworthy by other female Facebook users.

(The Coca-Cola Company)

Brand recognition statistics published by the Coca-Cola Company indicate that pretty much every adult on the planet is familiar with their logo. The simple red and white color scheme and cursive font have earned the beverage company a global reputation and off the charts recognition.

54% of consumers would like to see more video content from brands they support.

(HubSpot)

A HubSpot study that included 3,000 respondents reveals video content is the most engaging. More than half of the people surveyed indicated they wanted to see more video content from the brands they support, followed by interactive articles and social content.

Consistently presented brands are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy excellent brand visibility than those with an inconsistent brand presentation.

(Demand Metric)

Brand consistency statistics published by Demand Metric suggest uniformly presented brands are 3.5 times more visible to customers. If people are aware of your product and know what your brand stands for, they are more likely to purchase items you produced. As simple as that.

63% of people pay particular attention to brands when choosing a smartphone.

(Statista)

According to Statista, people consider brands a vital decision-making factor when selecting a mobile phone. The same survey suggests that the importance of brands can’t be overlooked when choosing clothing items and tech gear either.

During the holiday season, 44% of US consumers give gifts purchased from brands they are loyal to.

(Kettle Fire)

As Kettle Fire’s brand stats reveal, almost half of all US consumers turn to their favorite brands when the holiday season comes. Companies that provide excellent products and nourish client relationships during the year get rewarded with increased profits.

86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks.

(HubSpot)

There’s no question about whether modern shoppers enjoy learning all about the brands they love through social media. The answer is definitely yes, and companies already know it. But HubSpot’s brand statistics show most people strongly favor brands that are authentic and honest online.

53% of businesses rely on content marketing as a branding strategy.

(SmallBizTrends)

What is company branding without content marketing nowadays? Not much. More than half of businesses use carefully curated content to grab their target audience’s attention and brand themselves. Video material, blog articles, research, infographics, product reviews, and interviews are different types of content companies turn to most frequently.

1/3 of the world’s top 100 brands include the color blue in their logos.

(Design Buddy)

We have already established that color matters in creating a brand’s visual identity and that sticking to one is preferential. It’s also worth mentioning that the color of the ocean is a common denominator for the top 100 most recognizable brands. Design Buddy’s logo statistics show as many as 33% of the world’s most known brands use some shade of blue in their logos.

77% of B2B marketers say branding is crucial for growth.

(Circe Research)

Whether consumers or businesses are your target group, branding helps companies grow. According to Circle Research, almost 80% of B2B marketers agree that without it, their businesses couldn’t expand and develop.

Music can increase brand favorability by 46%.

(Man Made Music)

Most marketers focus on creating a visual identity for their brand. But have you considered sonic branding? If you add a characteristic sound to your brand, you could practically double your profit. Audio branding statistics by Man Made Music show consumers will be 46% more likely to choose your brand over the competition if you associate a recognizable tune with it.

77% of people refer to certain items by brand names.

(Crowdspring)

How many times have you asked for a Kleenex when you wanted a tissue? And have you noticed almost nobody says tablet anymore. We all refer to it as an iPad. How come? Some companies branded their products so well that they became commonplaces. Crowdspring’s brand awareness statistics suggest 77% of consumers use brand names instead of the names of actual objects when they speak.

(Crowdspring)

There are many criteria for a good logo. It needs to be simple, yet effective. It must be unique. Relating it to your brand needs to be a breeze. It has to grab the attention of consumers for 10 seconds so they could memorize it.

82% of investors say name recognition is an important factor guiding them in their investment decisions.

(Global Banking & Finance Review)

If you are relying on business investors in order to grow your company, you should know that more than 80% take brand name recognition into account when making an investment decision.

72% of the best brand names are made up words or acronyms.

(Crowdspring)

When we think of wildly successful brands with made up names, Google comes to mind first. The search engine got its name thanks to a misspelling of the world googol used in math to signify a very large number (1 followed by 100 zeros). The name was supposed to indicate the vast amount of information that can be found through it.

The top 4 qualities people use to describe why they are loyal to a brand are cost, quality, experience, and consistency.

(Facebook)

Brand stats revealed by Facebook after surveying 15,000 consumers indicate there’s a winning combination of factors people find appealing in brands which keeps them coming back. The research findings suggest consumers want quality products they can afford and a consistent experience with a brand every time they interact - it doesn’t matter through which channel of communication.

Employer Branding Statistics

Over 90% of people would consider leaving their job if offered a position in a company with an outstanding corporate reputation.

(Everyone Social)

There are many advantages of branding. The ability to attract talented employees to your company even if the people you’re interested in are already working in a different, less renowned corporation is one of them. A staggering 92% of respondents would at least consider jumping ship if offered a job in a company that branded itself as a good place to work at.

55% of job seekers say they abandoned a job application after reading a negative review about the employer.

(Career Arc)

On the other hand, creating a negative employer brand can cost you. Talent acquisition will be a challenge for a company with a bad employer reputation. Job seekers trust internet reviews of former employees, so try to end things on a good note when letting someone go.

(Lyfemarketing)

Your reputation as an employer matters. Once you establish your brand, you will be in a position to hire quality candidates without much effort. People will want to work for you because they relate to the brand you created. The many benefits of branding include the opportunity to find and train new staff affordably.

82% of people are more likely to trust a company whose senior executives actively use social media.

(CEO Hangout)

A vast majority of people will be more trusting of a company if its high-ranking employees have a social media presence. Naturally, in order for senior executives to contribute to company branding, they need to mention their place of work in a positive context in their posts.

69% of employers are working on employer branding strategies with their marketing teams.

(Career Arc)

Almost all business owners understand how important it is to create a positive work environment and spread the word about it. That’s why almost 70% of employers have already rolled up their sleeves and begun working with their marketing departments on this task and another 18% plan to start this year.

Only 21% of candidates would apply to work in a company that has a one-star rating on an employer review website.

(Career Arc)

Career Arc warns that if you gain a negative employer reputation, your talent pool will shrink to a fifth of its actual size. This stat really makes you think of the importance of branding, doesn’t it?

62% of job seekers change their perception of a company after seeing an employer respond to a review.

(Glossador)

However, your bad employer rating is not set in stone. According to Glossador, all it takes to change how job seekers view you as an employer is responding to a review. It’s reassuring to learn that 62% of people are interested in hearing both sides when forming an opinion.

Brands with poor company branding pay 10% higher salaries.

(Smart Dreamers)

If you think business branding is insignificant, think again. Not only will you find it more challenging to find new employees and retain existing ones if you maintain a poor company image, but you’ll also pay 10% more in salaries.

7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded.

(AdEspresso)

How to increase brand recognition? Both small start-ups and large enterprises use social media to this end. That’s why branded hashtags represent the majority of all Instagram hashtags. Form part of the branded hashtag movement to increase your brand name recognition.

55% of recruiting specialists around the globe have a proactive strategy for presenting their companies as desirable employers.

(LinkedIn)

Research conducted by LinkedIn reveals more than half of HR managers around the world diligently work on promoting their workplaces as attractive. If you’re in the other half, get down to business as soon as possible.

Social media (47%), company career website (21%), and marketing and advertising (12%) are the top three investments for growing an employer brand.

(Jobvite)

Almost half of the recruiters recognize the importance of social media in creating a positive company image. Potential new hires use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to get to know an employer before applying for a job, so pay attention to the message you’re sending about your corporate culture and make sure it aligns with your brand values.

Value Branding

77% of marketers feel branding is a crucial factor in future growth.

(Circle Research)

Marketers are well aware of the fact that a business needs to create a brand around which advertising efforts would revolve. In order for your company to grow, it’s critical to create a brand that customers can relate to.

Over 70% of brand managers consider building an audience more important than converting sales.

(Bynder)

It might seem odd to make driving sales a secondary goal, but as most brand managers already know - building an audience and establishing trust is a great branding strategy. It will eventually lead to sales conversion and customer loyalty.

43% of customers spend more money on brands they are loyal to.

(Fundera)

You may have been wondering: why is branding important in sales? Well, here’s your answer. Almost half of consumers express their loyalty to the brands they love by spending more money on their products than on those of the competition.

62% of consumers would boycott a brand that politically offends them.

(Consumer Thermometer)

As Consumer Thermometer’s study reveals, bad branding can have detrimental consequences for your business. Avoid expressing your personal opinions and political views through your brand unless you want to lose customers who don’t agree with them.

89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.

(Fundera)

Why is brand value important? Because 56% of consumers stay loyal to brands that “get them,” and 89% of customers are loyal to brands that share their values. If the core values of your brand align with your customers’ values, you can count on them coming back to your products and services.

94% of people said they’d be highly likely to recommend a brand they were emotionally engaged with.

(Gensler)

Brand positioning statistics published in 2018 reveal that when a brand establishes a positive emotional connection with its customers, it has successfully positioned itself. What’s more, it can count on an astonishing 94% of those customers recommending it to other potential ones.

Only 48% of employees believe their leadership team, corporate communications, HR and marketing departments all speak about their brand with a unique voice.

(Exchange)

Corporate branding is all about creating a consistent brand image. It differs from product branding, where the goal is to distinguish a single product. To carry out this task successfully, large corporations need to start with their own employees. Communicating the values of their own brands to all the workers is the first step to consistently presenting a brand to the public.

Brands that blog generate 67% more leads.

(BrandBuddah)

Posting blogs on your company website can do your business a world of good. It is a fantastic way to emphasize your brand values, spark a conversation with your existing customers and draw new ones in. BrandBuddah suggests companies that blog on a regular basis boast 67% more leads than their counterparts that don’t share blog articles.

Small business branding

73% of small businesses invest in social media marketing as part of their branding efforts.

(The Manifest)

A 2019 study by the Manifest reveals that social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is the preferred branding method of small businesses. Branding via social media is popular with three quarters of small companies due to low costs involved and a wide reach of potential customers.

95% of small businesses intended to increase their marketing budgets in 2019.

(Smallbiztrends)

Branding and marketing are intricately connected. Your branding efforts won’t mean a thing if you don’t advertise them, and small businesses are aware of this. According to branding stats 2019 revealed by SmallBizTrends, nearly all small-business owners plan to increase their marketing budgets for this year.

34% of small businesses invest in video marketing.

(The Manifest)

Using video material to communicate your company’s key values and to engage with your customers is an effective way to brand y*our business. However, only a third of small businesses use video to this end.

64% of consumers purchase a product after watching a branded video on social networks.

(Forbes)

If you’re uncertain how to create a brand for your small business, here’s a little hint - video content on social media. Use Instagram Stories, product demonstrations, short branded ads, and influencer reviews to inspire people to buy from your brand. According to Forbes, creating consumer impressions through social media videos can generate a lot of leads.

More than 80 million small businesses use Facebook every month.

(Hootsuite)

A staggering number of small businesses has tapped into this network’s amazing potential. And their number keeps growing year after year by 23%, according to Hootsuite. SMBs use the social network to promote themselves and their offers, stay in touch with clients and share customized content.

How to build a brand?

After you’ve read our branding statistics,we hope you have an idea of the necessary steps, but here’s a recap, just in case.

Defining your company values is the first step to branding triumph. After that, you need to convey those values clearly to all your employees. Once everyone is on the same page about your branding strategy, you can go out and spread the word, unanimously.

With the huge popularity of social media, don’t forget to represent your brand on the channels your customers frequent. It can bring you a lot of exposure and new leads.

About author

Ivana is a staff writer at SmallBizGenius. Her interests during office hours include writing about small businesses, start-ups, and retail. When the weekend comes, you can find her hiking in nature, hanging off of a cliff or dancing salsa.

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(Pew Research Center) Millennials are all those born between 1981 and 1996, and back in 2019, they accounted for over a third of the US labor force. In 2016, the millennial generation surpassed Generation Xers and became the largest population in the US labor force.  According to research from 2019, Millennials are expected to comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025.  Gender Diversity in the Workplace Statistics Only 8% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are female. (Statista) The gap between male and female leadership roles has always been a thing, and there are multiple statistics to confirm that. However, it looks like things are changing for the better. As Statista confirmed earlier this year, there’s been a new record when it comes to female CEOs. As of June 14, 2021, there were 41 female CEOs employed at Fortune 500 companies. According to the statistics, this wasn’t the only record that got broken. For the first time ever, two black women are running America's 500 highest-grossing companies, giving us hope that gender diversity on executive boards might become a reality in the not-so-distant future. In terms of the median salary in the US, women earn around 18% less than men. (PayScale) The gap between the leadership roles isn’t the only hurdle that women are facing in business nowadays. PayScale, a company that helps employers and employees understand the appropriate pay for every position, reviewed these issues in its Gender Pay Gap Report for 2021. According to this report, women earn only $0.82 for every dollar a man makes. Although it might sound discouraging, this is a slight improvement compared to 2020, when they earned one cent less, as per employment diversity statistics. Also, bear in mind these are uncontrolled pay gap statistics - when doing the same job with the same qualifications, the numbers are less dire: women earn 98 cents for every dollar a man does. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fathers who worked remotely were promoted three times more than women in the same position. (CNBC) The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of the business as we know it. Many had to adapt to the new reality and switch to their home offices instead. According to a CNBC report, 34% of men with children working from home received some kind of promotion during this period.  On the other hand, women’s jobs have been hit much harder by the pandemic. According to an analysis conducted by the National Women’s Law Center, of the 1.1 million workers ages 20 and over, who left the labor force between August and September of 2020, 865,000 were women. Racial and Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Statistics 46% of Hispanic and 39% of black women earn less than $15 an hour. (The Washington Post) In 2019, around 39 million people earned less than $15 per hour. These 39 million employees made about 28% of the workforce at the time, and the majority of the low-wage category consisted of Hispanic and black women. In fact, they were more than 2x as likely as white men to fall into this wage category.  Based on the Washington Post’s research on diversity in the workplace, statistics haven’t really changed since 2019. Roughly 46% of Hispanic women and 39% of Black women still make less than $15 an hour. On the other hand, only 18% of White and Asian men hover around this wage bracket. More than 90% of all Google employees are white or Asian men. (Statista) According to Statista, the distribution of Google employees in the US from 2014 to 2021 does not look very racially or gender-diverse. The data for 2021 shows that white men account for 50.4% of employees, with Asian men following with 42.3%. On the flip side, only 4.4% of the employees are black men and women. If you look at the timeline of these statistics on diversity in the workplace, you will see the Asian population is experiencing steady growth, while the white population dropped from 64.5% in 2014 to 50.4% in 2021.  In 2019, black people held only 3.2% of senior leadership roles in large organizations in the US. (Coqual) “Being Black in Corporate America” is the name of Coqual’s intersectional exploration aimed to show if and how things have changed for the black people in the US during the past few years. The research on the representation of black adults in the US has shown that only 3.2% of black people held senior leadership roles in major companies, with just 0.8% of them being Fortune 500 CEOs. Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace Statistics Diverse companies produce 19% more revenue than those with non-diverse leadership. (Forbes) A study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), published in 2018, has found that diverse leadership increases the bottom line for companies. According to the study, increasing the diversity of leadership teams can lead to improved financial performance and better innovation. The study included 1,700 companies of all sizes across eight different countries. These findings are important as they show that diversity isn’t just an inclusion metric but an integral part of any successful business. In 2019, gender-diverse companies were 25% more likely to outperform their competitors. (McKinsey) Various diversity in the workplace stats show just how important diversity is and how it can help boost the overall performance of businesses of all sizes. Based on the findings from McKinsey’s research in 2019, companies with gender diversity have 25% higher chances to achieve higher profits than those with less gender diversity on the executive boards. Ethnic diversity in leadership teams is another vital factor. According to the report, companies implementing ethnic and cultural diversity on the executive level have a 36% likelihood of outperforming the competition.  Diverse companies are 70% more likely to acquire new markets. (Harvard Business Review) (Josh Bersin) Establishing a diverse workplace is vital for all modern organizations, and there are many diversity in the workplace statistics that prove this. Diverse companies also have 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. They are also far better at capturing new markets when compared to the companies that do not practice diversity hiring.  80% of US job candidates look for inclusion when choosing an employer. (Deloitte) Salary and working hours aren't the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing a new employer. Back in 2017, Deloitte published a research paper that surveyed more than 1,300 full-time employees from a range of organizations all across the US. The paper showed just how important diversity and inclusion initiatives are by showing that four-fifths of all employees look for an inclusive workplace. 39% of respondents confirmed they would quit their current job if they found a more inclusive working environment, while 23% indicated they already left a job for that very reason.
By Nikolina Cveticanin · October 04,2021
Women account for 50.8% of the US population, hold 57% of all undergraduate degrees, and approximately 60% of all master’s degrees. And even though they hold about 52% of all management-level jobs, American women cannot keep pace with men in terms of representation when it comes to top leadership roles.  As male vs. female CEO statistics show, it’s the profit and loss roles or P&L responsibilities such as leading a brand, unit, or division, that set executives on the track to becoming a CEO. On the other hand, women who advance into C-suites - the “chief” jobs in companies - typically take on the roles such as head of human resources, legal, or administration. Although all of these functions are extremely important, the line of work they focus on doesn’t involve profit-generating responsibilities, which rarely makes them a path to running a company. Why does the percentage of CEOs that are female remain low in all parts of the world? There isn’t a simple answer to this question. Several studies have shown that it’s the fusion of work-life constraints, early professional trade-offs, and firmly established attitudes towards women in power and the skills and traits that make a good leader that can explain why the careers of equally ambitious and capable men and women often take such different turns. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting findings. Male vs Female CEO Statistics - Editor’s Choice Female CEOs are running 41 Fortune 500 companies. There are two Black women among the Fortune 500 CEOs. Women made up only 5% of the CEOs appointed in 2020 globally. At the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17 to one.  59% of male employees aspire to become CEOs versus 40% of women. 77% of women say the biggest obstacle to gender equity at the workplace is the lack of information on how to advance. Between 2015 and 2020, the share of women in senior vice president roles in the US increased from 23% to 28%. (McKinsey & Company) Over the same period, the percentage of women in the C-suite went up from 17% to 21%. All women, especially those of color, remained significantly outnumbered in senior management positions. However, prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the representation of female workers in corporate America was slowly trending in the right direction.  According to 2020 statistics on female CEOs in the United States, 21% of C-suite members were women.  (McKinsey & Company)  Based on the survey results published by McKinsey & Company, there’s a leaky pipeline for women in leadership. In 2020, female workers accounted for 47% of entry-level positions, 38% of management roles, and 33% senior management/director roles. Women were entrusted with under one third (29%) of all vice president positions in American organizations. For every 100 men who got promoted to a managerial role, only 85 women advanced to the same position, based on the 2020 data.  (McKinsey & Company) This gap was even larger for women of color as only 71 Latinas, and 58 Black women received a promotion. Consequently, women remained underrepresented at the managerial level holding just 38% of manager positions, while men accounted for 62%. Male vs female CEO statistics from 2020 indicate that 39% of senior-level women burned out compared to 29% of men. (McKinsey & Company) Furthermore, 36% of women felt pressured to work more, in comparison with 27% of men. At the same time, 54% of C-suite women reported that they constantly felt exhausted, and so did 41% of men in similar positions. More than 50% of women in senior leadership roles promote gender and racial equality at work, in comparison with approximately 40% of male top executives. (McKinsey & Company) Women in leadership positions are more likely than men in senior-level roles to take a public stand on racial and gender diversity and champion the advancement of employee-friendly programs and policies. Women CEOs are also more likely to sponsor and mentor other female workers. According to the results of a recent survey, 38% of women in senior-level positions currently mentor or sponsor at least one woman of color, compared to only 23% of men in the same roles.   Female CEOs are running 41 Fortune 500 companies. (Fortune, Statista) In 2021, the number of women appointed to CEO positions in America's 500 highest-grossing companies reached an all-time high. However, the new record still only translates to approximately 8% of female representation at the top of the country's largest public businesses.  On the plus side, the number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies almost doubled in comparison with 2018 when there were 24 females leading the nation’s biggest businesses. Calls for diversity and inclusion in the highest echelons of America’s business world are starting to bear fruit as the number of female Fortune 500 chief executive officers increased for the third consecutive year. The top five biggest female-led Fortune 500 businesses as of August 2021 are CVS Health (rank four), Walgreens Boots Alliance (rank 16), General Motors (rank 22), Anthem (rank 23), and Citigroup (rank 33).  Speaking of women in leadership roles, statistics show that there are two Black women among the Fortune 500 CEOs. (Fortune) For the first time, two Black women are running Fortune 500 businesses - Roz Brewer of Walgreens Boots Alliance (rank 16) and Thasunda Brown Duckett of TIAA (rank 79). Before Duckett and Brewer started their new jobs in 2021, only one Black woman - Ursula Burns, former Xerox chief - had ever been appointed CEO at a Fortune 500 business on a permanent basis. After Burnes stepped down from the role in 2017, and, with the exception of Bed Bath & Beyond's Mary Winston, who worked as interim chief for a few months in 2019, Black female chief executive officers have been missing from the Fortune 500 list ever since. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser is the first woman to run a major Wall Street bank. (Fortune) Fraser’s appointment marked huge progress for the financial industry. Much like Dick's Sporting Goods chief Lauren Hobart, Clorox chief Linda Rendle, new Coty CEO Sue Nabi, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Roz Brewer, Thasunda Brown Duckett of TIAA, and CVS’s CEO Karen Lynch, Fraser took over from a male CEO. Statistics on Fortune 500 CEOs by gender reveal that there were only 37 female and 463 male chiefs leading America’s highest earning businesses in 2000. (Fortune) The number of women in CEO positions in the Fortune 500 hasn’t been growing steadily throughout the last two decades. There were 24 female chiefs in 2015, 21 women CEOs in 2016, and 32 women running Fortune 500 businesses in 2017, while that number dropped to 24 in 2018.  At the median, 16 female CEOs earned $13.6 million in 2020, in comparison to $12.6 million for the 326 men included in a study. (Equilar) According to a study published in May 2021 comparing a male CEO salary vs. a female CEO salary, women have outpaced men in total pay but remained underrepresented in executive positions. Equilar’s study indicates that Lisa Su, the chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices, was the highest-paid woman for the second consecutive year and the highest-paid CEO overall in 2020.  Globally, women made up only 5% of the CEOs appointed in 2020. (Heidrick & Struggles) The highest percentage of newly-appointed female CEOs was in Ireland (15%), while the lowest was in Brazil (0%). This is according to a paper that analyzed the backgrounds of chief executives leading 965 of the largest companies in 20 markets around the world. It sought to identify the skills and experience that shaped their path to the top while taking different male vs. female CEO statistics into account.  At the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17 to one.  (Morningstar) According to a study that explored the gender gap in US companies, the number of male executive officers is seven times higher than the number of women holding the same positions. More than 50% of the companies analyzed didn’t have a single female on their lists of executive officers. Jackie Cook, the author of the Morningstar report, found that online retail giant Amazon didn’t have any women among its highest-paid executives as of 2020.  Women who negotiate for raises and promotions are 30% more likely to be considered as "too aggressive" or "intimidating". (Business Insider) Speaking of male managers vs. female managers, statistics reveal that women who don’t negotiate at all are 67% less likely to receive the same negative feedback. The proportion of women in senior management roles increased from 20% in 2011 to 29% in 2020, globally. (Grant Thornton) As 2019 saw a jump of 5% compared to 2018 (amounting to a total of 29%), 2020 represents a leveling off of the progress made during the previous year. This lack of movement doesn’t necessarily reflect a failure of companies to address the existing gender gap. Globally, the proportion of companies with at least one woman in senior management was 87% in 2020.  (Grant Thornton) The number of female CEOs and senior managers has risen by almost 20 percentage points over the last few years. For comparison, this figure stood at 68% in 2015 and 68% in 2017.  77% of women say the biggest obstacle to gender equity in the workplace is the lack of information on how to advance. (Working Mother Research Institute) Only 41% of female survey participants, as opposed to 64% of male respondents, said they have a network of coaches, mentors, and sponsors offering them career guidance. 37% of women versus 64% of men said that their companies provide information on career paths that lead to executive roles. (Working Mother Research Institute) Additionally, women CEO statistics indicate that 74% of female employees understand what the specific requirements are for advancing to the highest-paying roles in their companies even though they don’t receive this type of information directly.  60% of women believe they have the same opportunities to advance as anyone else at their workplace versus 74% of men.  (Working Mother Research Institute) Similarly, 65% of women express they are satisfied with the way their careers are progressing, and so do 78% of men.  Male vs female CEO stats reveal that 59% of male employees aspire to become chief executives versus 40% of women.  (Working Mother Research Institute) Of those women who aspire to become CEOs, 6% are first-level managers (as opposed to 13% of men) and 39% are executives. The same goes for 40% of men hoping to take on the role of chief executive officer.  Businesses with high representations of women in leadership roles had a 35% higher return on equity and 34% higher total shareholder return in comparison with male-dominated companies.  (Catalyst) Female vs male CEO statistics compiled by an NGO during a review of 353 Fortune 500 companies show that the differences were most apparent in facial services, consumer discretionary, and consumer staples industries.
By Milica Milenkovic · September 24,2021

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