Customer Experience Statistics for Cultivating Happy Clients

Customer Experience Statistics for Cultivating Happy Clients
ByJulija A.
March 24,2021

Customer experience is something that can make or break a business. Regardless of how good your product is, regardless of how affordable you make it, if the customer doesn’t enjoy their encounter with your brand, they’re unlikely to stick around and become a loyal follower.

With the number of companies growing each day, consumers have more choices than ever. This affords them the luxury of being picky. Our customer experience statistics demonstrate the importance of putting people first, because it’s no longer enough to rely on the quality of your product.

So, what can you really do to improve customer experience and beat your competitors? The stats we’ve gathered can answer that question. Keep reading to find out how the latest trends can help your business thrive. In case you’re in need of some quick answers, we’ve provided an FAQ section at the end of the article.

The Most Important Customer Experience Stats

  • 67% of customers reported hanging up on an automated system out of frustration at not being able to reach a live person.
  • 90% of customers have had poor customer support experiences on mobile devices.
  • 87.2% of organisations agree that customer loyalty can relate directly to commercial success.
  • 84% of customers expect to be treated like a person, not a number.
  • 96% of unhappy customers don’t bother complaining; 91% of them will simply leave and never return.
  • It takes 12 positive experiences to compensate for one unresolved negative experience.
  • 33% of Americans say they would consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.

General CX Stats

It takes 12 positive experiences to compensate for one unresolved negative experience.

(Ruby Newell-Legner’s “Understanding Customers”)

This one stat perfectly encapsulates the importance of good CX. Customer retention is practically impossible without it, as people are more likely to remember negative experiences than positive ones. It takes a lot of time and effort to erase a past mistake, and once lost, a consumer’s trust can be very difficult to regain.

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25%.

(Bain & Company)

According to customer experience ROI statistics, customer retention is a key factor in increasing your profits. This specific stat was related to businesses in the financial sector, but any industry can benefit from the same principle.

Half of all customers are prepared to wait one week for a customer service rep to respond before they stop doing business with that brand for good.


A single week is not a lot of time, and the customer is likely to grow more frustrated as each day goes by. The quicker you respond to queries, the easier it will be to retain loyal customers.

33% of Americans say they would contemplate switching companies after receiving poor service just once.

(Business Wire)

This customer service statistic further demonstrates how impatient consumers can be, and how easily they’re prepared to turn away. A single bad experience could ruin your image in their eyes, especially if you don’t respond and help them resolve it to their satisfaction. Investing in good customer service strategies can help you prevent this and keep your users happy.

67% of customers have hung up on an automated call system because they’re frustrated they can’t speak to live person.


CX statistics show that people dislike automated systems intensely. A robot can rarely provide a satisfying resolution to an angry customer. They give people the run-around, they’re frustrating to listen to, and they have the tendency to completely dehumanize the contact between your company and the customer.

Two-thirds of companies say better CX increases their revenue and profits.

(Relación Cliente)

According to the 2019 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, most companies agree that CX is crucial for increasing revenue. However, these customer service facts also show that 55.8% of companies don’t yet have a clearly defined strategy for improving customer experience. While firms seem to be aware that things need to change, they are still unsure how to tackle these problems effectively. Hopefully our next few sections will give you an insight.

Business Customer Experience Stats

Only 30.4% of organisations have an executive responsible for the company’s CX.

(Dimension Data)

While 87.2% of organizations agree that CX helps achieve commercial success, not nearly enough companies actually customer experience experts to create effective strategies.

62.4% of companies want to improve their CX strategy to get ahead of competitors.

(Dimension Data)

When done right, CX can reduce costs, increase customer and employee satisfaction, and improve the relationship between business and consumer. While customer experience research shows 62.4% of businesses want to improve their strategies, 37.6% still have no immediate plans to make such changes.

(Dimension Data)

A multichannel approach to providing customer satisfaction all across the board is generally a good strategy for improving CX. Whether they’re shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, using their computer, or searching via their mobile phone, consumers should enjoy a smooth, effortless interaction with your business.

Only 8.4% of companies have established connections between all their channels.

(Dimension Data)

Customer experience statistics indicate that while omnichannel connection trends are on the rise, very few companies have implemented this solution. System integration issues and inconsistencies with data formats are the biggest challenges. Companies need to keep configuring their data and sharing intelligence between channels to cater to all groups.

62% of companies are investing in individual customer characteristics.

(Walker Info)

Brands have started doing more research into personalized customer experiences, and one of the top emerging trends is analyzing individual customer characteristics. The needs, challenges, and future direction of an individual consumer can provide a lot of insight into what they want to see from the brand.

58% of companies are investing in simplifying products and processes.

(Walker Info)

Customer statistics from this Walker survey indicate that simple, user-friendly products and processes help keep customers satisfied. Introducing a smooth procedure that won’t confuse your users while they make purchases and use your products is the key ingredient of success.

Turnover for customer service employees is 27% annually, the highest in the business world.


Customer service is an important part of building a great experience for your user. As we’ve mentioned before, consumers hate using automated phone services and they prefer communicating with a human being. Unfortunately, customer service workers still face poor working conditions and the industry generally has an extremely high turnover rate. The importance of customer service cannot be overstated, so businesses that want to provide a better experience for their consumers need to employ highly trained workers who can stand up to the challenge.

54% of users contacted customer service via email in the past year.


Emails are quick, easy to write, and most customers prefer them to other digital channels. The use of mobile devices is on the rise, so most people access their email accounts via their phones. They expect quick, detailed responses, so companies that want to improve service need to take these customer experience statistics into account.

29% of B2B customers are fully engaged with the companies they do business with.


Given that B2B marketing often lags behind B2C, this number isn’t so surprising. It seems most customers have no emotional or psychological ties to the companies they deal with constantly, which points to a gaping flaw in marketing strategies. To fix this problem, one of the first things you should do is simplify your purchase process; make it as easy as possible for customers to get the product they need. The next step should be personalization. B2B customer experience statistics show that simply knowing who you’re doing business with and what their role is can be a great help when building better relationships with your audience.

Banking and Customer Experience

Even though almost 70% of all banking takes place online, 71% of all customers who part ways with a bank do so because of an in-person problem.


Banks around the world have worked hard to improve their customer service, and this stat shows why. While most users seem perfectly satisfied with the ease of online transactions, this customer service study implies that going to a bank in person can be stressful. Banks understand this and are placing a bigger emphasis on customer service than ever before.

56% customers who are leaving their bank say the bank could change their mind.


More than half (also 56%) of departing users say their bank made no effort to keep them when they said they were leaving. However, a disgruntled user can often be turned into a satisfied customer with a little effort. Banking customer service statistics imply that simply talking to users and asking them whether anything could be fixed is a great way to establish more trust and repair the relationship. Making a phone call or sending an email are two ways you can start communicating again.

Three-quarters of customers who leave their bank won’t tell the bank that they plan to go in advance.


The most common reason this happens is because they don’t believe it will make any difference. Customer retention statistics from above show that this is far from true—you can keep your consumers as long as you establish open communication.

Customer Experience on Mobile Devices

63% percent of U.S. adults use mobile devices at least several times per month to seek customer support.

(Software Advice)

With so many mobile users in the world today, it’s no wonder consumers are relying on their favorite handheld devices to contact customer support.

People are 60% less likely to purchase from a brand after a negative mobile experience.

(Think With Google)

Customer service stats indicate that one of the most common complaints among users is that pages load too slowly. In fact, according to Google, mobile users abandon pages 53% of the time if they take longer than three seconds to load. Laggy websites can decrease your site traffic severely, so if you don’t want to keep losing leads you’ll have to invest in mobile optimization.

42% of customers have contacted a business via live chat on a mobile device.

(Software Advice)

Phone calls still take place, but other methods of communication are more frequent. Mobile customer experience stats tell us that live chat is one of the most popular options, as it enables users to resolve their problems quickly and easily. A lot of companies are investing resources into enabling 24/7 live chat on their websites.

90% of customers have had a negative experience trying to get support on a mobile device.

(Software Advice)

Despite the fact that most customer interactions happen on mobile devices these days, companies remain slow to adapt. Adaptability is important, and responsive web design is the key to making your customers happy. Statistics on customer service show that users want a fully optimized experience no matter what device they’re using. If you haven’t invested in better mobile design yet, now would be a great time to start.

78% of shoppers use smartphones during physical shopping.

(Think With Google)

Phones are important even during physical shopping for a large number of people. After all, we rarely part from our favorite devices. The best customer experience companies are aware of this fact and use it to their advantage. They know most consumers search for products online before going to check them out in a physical store, so they can enable a completely seamless experience for their audiences no matter where they are.

84% of companies that claim themselves to be customer-centric focus on users’ mobile experience.

(Dimension Data)

There are almost 5 billion phone users in the world today. This number increases every day, and as such mobile experience is becoming more and more important. This is yet another stat that highlights the importance of customer experience across all channels and devices.

Customer loyalty and expectations

87.2% of organisations agree that customer loyalty can relate directly to commercial success.

(Dimension Data)

Customers with strong brand loyalty are the main sources of consistent revenue for a lot of firms. Businesses agree that investing time and resources into making customers happy is the fastest way to become more successful.

Consumers are willing to spend 17% more with companies that deliver excellent service.

(Help Scout)

Satisfied customers are ready to put their money where their mouth is. Customer service statistics show that excellent service pays off because it builds trust with consumers and inspires them to make purchases more consistently.

84% of customers say they’re more likely to stick with a brand that treats them like a person, not a number.


Your consumers want to know they’re important to you. If they feel like they are nothing more than statistical data, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere. This is more of a challenge for large corporations because they have a harder time establishing genuine connections. If you want to form better relationships, pay attention to what your customers have to say.

95% of customers tell others about a bad experience, while 87% share good experiences.


Customer service statistics show that users tend to share their opinions with each other. On average, bad experiences leave a bigger impression, and disgruntled customers are more likely to tell their friends and leave scathing reviews. However, they’re almost as willing to talk about positives. Both good and bad reviews can spread far, so be careful how you present yourself to your audience.

For 70% of customers, understanding how they choose to use your products and services is extremely important.


Consumers don’t always use products and services the way you intend them to. Customer experience analysis shows you need to be ready to adjust things according to their expectations and have a greater understanding of why they use specific products in the way that suits them best.

59% of customers expect businesses to tailor their experience based on their past interactions.


Tracking customer purchase history is a great way to provide a more tailored experience and increase users’ engagement. When you know exactly what your customers want and offer it to them through email campaigns and targeted advertising, you’ll increase your chance of generating leads.

Customers who are loyal to a brand are seven times as likely to test an offering, five times as likely to buy from them again, and four times as likely to refer friends.


Customer satisfaction statistics show that consumers who are loyal tend to repay good service with more purchases and referrals. They are also likely to participate in UX tests and surveys. In short, these are the people who will keep generating more business for you.

86% of U.S. adults will pay more for a superior customer experience.


Most people have no trouble paying more if they get their money’s worth. The product isn’t the only thing they want when they enter a store—they want to enjoy the whole experience. This is particularly true in the retail industry, where shopping often takes on a form of ritual for a lot of customers.

89% of consumers take their business to a competitor after a negative customer experience.


Customer service studies indicate that people are quick to abandon businesses if they feel slighted. They rarely wait around for long, so if you don’t immediately fix your mistakes and repair the relationship, they’ll turn to your competitors for better service.

68% of consumers say a friendly customer service operative is a primary factor in positive service experiences, while 62% believe the staff member’s knowledge and resourcefulness is crucial.

(Business Wire)

Person-to-person care is an important aspect of positive customer experience. Employing competent, pleasant individuals to help customers is one of the easiest ways to impress them and ensure they remain loyal.

86% of consumers who have an excellent customer experience are likely to repurchase from the same company.

(Experience Matters)

Customer satisfaction statistics also indicate that only 13% of those who’ve had a bad customer experience opt to purchase again from the same company. For the most part, customers expect you to meet most of their needs to earn their business, and disappointing them will inevitably drive them elsewhere.

96% of disgruntled customers don’t complain; 91% of them will just leave and never return.


One of the main reasons customers never complain is because it takes too much effort, and in the end they don’t believe it will change anything. You need to let your audience know you’re willing to listen and change your ways if you want them to stick around.

Data protection and customer experience stats

69% of people believe businesses are at risk of being hacked or attacked by cybercriminals.


Data protection is a very important part of customer experience. Consumers are reluctant to deal with companies that are vulnerable to cyber attacks because their own personal information could easily be endangered. Investing in good cyber security is one way to show customers you’re willing to protect their info.

85% of consumers won’t do business with a company if they’re worried about that company’s security protocols.


The importance of customer relationship for your business is immense. Most consumers won’t even think about doing business with you if they have concerns about your security practices. Being unable to protect your firm from hackers and keep all your data safe is a surefire way to put potential leads off.

61% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase because there was no trust logo during the checkout process.


Adding an SSL certificate to your website could significantly reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and get people to go through with their purchases. People are less likely to buy from you if no security logs are present, or if you use logos that they don’t recognize.

60% of small businesses go under after a cyber attack that results in data breach.


Brand loyalty statistics show that it’s almost impossible to recover lost trust after a cyber attack. Consumers become furious, because not only has the company managed to compromise their personal information, but there’s nothing to suggest it won’t happen again in the future. Businesses are often forced to shut down due to the huge damage caused by hacks.


More companies need to take customer impact into consideration when handling sensitive data. Consumers believe many companies ask for too much personal information. They aren’t sure how and why it might be used in the future, so they are reluctant to share it out of fear it will be abused.

86% of people are more likely to trust businesses with their personal information if they explain how that information can provide a better experience.


Companies with great customer experience do their best to explain exactly why they need to collect personal information and how they intend to use it. Of course, this goes a long way toward establishing a better relationship and building trust between the business and the customer.

92% of customers are more likely to trust a business that lets them control exactly what personal information the company collects.


Don’t be afraid to give more control to consumers, especially when it comes to what kind of personal information you collect. As long as you give them the power, they’ll be more willing to trust you and share the details.


Delivering the right care is not just the right thing to do; it also makes sense from a business perspective. Hopefully our customer experience statistics have made it obvious why you need to dedicate your time to consumers in order to understand what they need. Once you figure out how to keep them happy, they’ll be much more eager to do business with you.

What does CX stand for?

As you read through our list of customer service quotes and stats, you’ll notice this abbreviation appearing several times. It simply means customer experience.

Are customer experience and customer service the same thing?

They are not the same thing, but they are very closely related. Customer service is a part of CX, and it’s defined as the assistance and advice you get to better use a product or a service. Customer experience represents a consumer’s entire journey when they engage with a brand. From user experience when engaging with a website to the feeling they get when greeted by an employee in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s all CX.

How important is the customer experience?

As you can see by our customer engagement statistics, it’s very important. Your entire business can be defined by CX because it influences how consumers react to what you have to offer. It also plays a large part in keeping customers loyal to your brand. Loyal customers generally provide you with a constant revenue stream, so it’s definitely worth spending time and money to focus more on CX.

How does the customer experience impact the journey?

Customer journey is basically a map showing how your average consumer navigates your brand. It’s used to analyze behavior and predict shopping patterns, and to create a customer image that you can use to make better business decisions in the future. CX is a huge part of the customer journey because it represents the consumer’s reaction to what you have to offer. Enabling a smooth, fuss-free experience is the key to getting more conversions in the long run.

How to measure the customer experience?

There are several ways to measure CX. One is a net promoter score (NPS), where you offer a survey to your consumers and ask them how likely they are to promote your business to a friend. You can also use eCommerce statistics, customer effort score (CES), customer satisfaction (CSAT), and average handling time (AHT). You can also measure the churn rate to get an even better insight into what your consumers really think about your company.

What percentage of customers actually complain?

Only about 4% of customers actually take the effort to make a complaint when something goes wrong.

How does customer experience impact the company?

Customer impact on your company should be obvious; a satisfied customer will spread the good word about your business, while an unhappy customer will drive their peers away from you. Investing in CX can help you increase revenue and cut down on costs over time.

Who is the most important customer?

Paying customers are actually not your most important customers—your employees are. They are the front-line fighters who represent your business, and if they don’t understand your vision, they are unlikely to engage customers. Pay more attention to your employees and keep them happy if you want them to deliver effective sales pitches and increase revenue.

About author

Julia A. is a writer at With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.

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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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