What do Customers Want? - 37 Customer Service Statistics

What do Customers Want? - 37 Customer Service Statistics
ByAndrea
August 10,2020

More than 90% of customers who are dissatisfied with your product will never complain; they’ll simply leave. Those who leave will tell at least 15 of their buddies just how disappointing your business is. Millennials expect you to respond to their Facebook messages within an hour. They are prepared to wait four hours before they give up on you indefinitely. 

Our customer service statistics underscore the importance of your support service and help you avoid mistakes made by the 70% of businesses that perish within 10 years.

Our hand-picked statistics come from renowned sources like Microsoft, Accenture, Statista, and Gartner. We’ve included some of the most recent information from market surveys, company research, and customer service studies to surveys of marketers, marketing executives, and customers. 

We’ve combined global and domestic data from a number of countries including the US, the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Japan to show how customer service and customer experience are becoming increasingly important aspects of every business. In addition to more than 30 stats, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks you can use to improve your service regardless of the size of your business.

Top Customer Service Stats - Editor’s Choice

  • 31% of companies see customer service as more of an expense than a growth opportunity.
  • 95% of consumers indicate that customer service is important to their choice of brand and loyalty.
  • 13% of unsatisfied customers tell 15 or more people that they’re unhappy with a particular product or service. 
  • 59% of consumers around the world say they have higher customer service expectations today than they had a year ago.
  • Nearly 50% of companies know that having a solid omnichannel marketing strategy will help them stand out and capture new clients.
  • Roughly 58% of consumers say it takes several really bad experiences to dump a brand.

66% of US customers do more business with companies thanks to quality customer service.

(Statista)

This figure is based on a 2018 survey involving more than a thousand respondents. According to customer service statistics from 2017, the number of people doing business with companies due to good customer support was 2% higher. We can conclude that customer service continues to play a significant role for the majority of consumers.

44% of consumers say they are likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience.

(Segment)

A 2017 Segment report that surveyed 1,006 Americans aged 18 or older came up with some interesting customer service results. Of those surveyed, 49% revealed they bought a product after a personalized recommendation even though they didn’t initially plan to. Meanwhile, 40% said they purchased something more expensive than they originally intended due to the personalized experience.

77% of consumers admit they’ve fostered relationships with specific brands for 10 years or more.

(InMoment)

The numbers clearly show that high-quality customer service is a key factor in building brand loyalty. That’s confirmed by customer experience stats from the 2018 Retail CX Trends Report that surveyed 1,300 American consumers from various age groups, including millennials. As many as 60% of the surveyed millennials had decade-long relationships with brands despite their young age.

In 2020, global revenue from offline commerce channels is likely to decrease by almost 20%.

(Accenture)

Customer service trends need to change with the times. Today, people are less inclined to leave the house for their daily purchases. The shift from offline to online commerce channels has huge implications for the way B2B organizations handle their digital channels. This puts a lot more pressure on online support agents and their relationship with a growing number of customers.

95% of consumers say that customer service is a relevant factor in their choice of brand and their ongoing loyalty.

(Microsoft)

The global 2018 customer service study by Microsoft surveyed more than 5,000 people worldwide. While it’s interesting that almost all surveyees agreed on the importance of customer service, a large percentage of them actually did something about it. In total, 61% of respondents changed the brands they dealt with because of poor customer service.

Only 30.4% of businesses have an executive accountable for customer experience.

(Dimension Data)

Although vital for customer acquisition and retention, higher customer service management is still rare. According to customer service data, most businesses handle the issue at a business unit level rather than an executive level. This approach to customer experience often results in serious systemic flaws. It’s a huge problem since we’ve already established that poor service can lead to brand switching.

70% of customers think more highly of brands that contact them with proactive customer service notifications.

(Microsoft)

While the proactive approach is popular among 66% of surveyed customers in the US, it’s even more desirable in Japan (80%) and Brazil (89%). Age wasn’t a major factor in these statistics from proactive customer service companies. Of those who approve of the proactive approach, 74% are aged 18 to 34 and 65% are 55+.

90% of B2B leaders agree that customer experience plays a key role in their company’s strategic priorities.

(Accenture)

Successful businesses do their best to provide a product or service that their customers need, enjoy, and trust. There’s no better way to achieve this than by listening to customers’ suggestions, questions, and complaints. Businesses allocate a great deal of resources to get an in-depth understanding of the sort of experiences that customers have with their products. That’s why there’s a high demand for customer experience professionals.

59% of consumers worldwide have a deeper appreciation for brands that respond to customer service questions or complaints via social media.

(Microsoft)

This number is higher in the US (47%) than in the UK (46%). Once again, customers in Japan (59%) and Brazil (85%) are especially appreciative of brands that communicate with customers in this fashion. Age plays an important role in these social media customer service statistics. Around 77% of respondents aged 18 to 34 expect the brands they use to respond via social media channels. On the other hand, only 40% of the 55+ age group feel the same way.

59% of consumers around the globe have higher customer service expectations now than they had a year ago.

(Microsoft)

This figure varies slightly depending on what corner of the globe the customer is in. For example, 50% of respondents in Germany have higher customer service expectations today, while in the US that figure stands at 56%. Brazilians expect the biggest improvements with 82% reporting higher expectations.

The claim that it costs five times more to attract a customer than to retain one is a myth.

(Ipsos)

This is a highly controversial claim, and research published by Ipsos Loyalty dismisses it as a fallacy. Although the true cost of poor customer service is still being debated, research suggests that it’s simply impossible to make such a broad claim with so many varying elements to consider. 

Customer Service Facts

66% of consumers surveyed for Microsoft’s 2018 State of Global Customer Service report said they believe the quality of customer service is generally getting better.

(Microsoft)

In individual countries that sentiment is shared by 58% of Americans, 66% of Britons, and 60% of Germans. In Japan and Brazil, a slightly higher percentage of customers are satisfied with the level of improvements, with 74% and 78% respectively. 

39% of customers believe engaging with customer service systems and having their questions answered is getting easier.

(Microsoft)

However, 35% say they see no changes in the level of complexity, and 26% report that customer service is getting more difficult to handle. Response variations in the US are subtle, with 36% of respondents believing customer engagement is getting easier, 34% seeing no difference, and 30% claiming it’s getting harder. According to customer service statistics, 30% of Britons and 34% of Germans feel that engagements with customer service agents are becoming increasingly difficult.

For 33% of consumers, the most important aspect of a good customer service experience is getting their issue resolved in a single interaction.

(Microsoft)

Next on the list is a knowledgeable customer service agent with 31% of global respondents saying this was the most important criterion for a good experience. Statistics on customer service vary significantly when it comes to age. Only 27% of customers aged 18 to 34 find representatives who don’t know what they’re doing insufferable. On the other hand, 40% of consumers over 55 think informed representatives are the most important customer service factor. 

90% of consumers believe organizations should give them the opportunity to provide customer feedback.

(Microsoft)

The survey looked at Brazil, Germany, Japan, the US, and UK, and almost everyone agrees on this one regardless of age or gender. But the digital customer service statistics also revealed that as many as 25% of Japanese customers are never interested in giving any type of customer service feedback.

37% of consumers say they are only occasionally given the opportunity to provide feedback.

(Microsoft)

Only 17% believe that they are often given the opportunity to express concerns or ask questions, while a mere 7% believe this always happens. These findings suggest that listening to customers may be of the utmost importance nowadays.

97% of consumers are more likely to maintain loyalty to a brand that implements changes based on their feedback.

(Apptentive)

Statistics on how customer service improves sales confirm that feedback is important. Nothing makes customers feel more appreciated than seeing their preferred brand respond to their input. A sense of belonging to a community that cares about its customers and values their opinions helps businesses grow. 

51% of consumers think most brands don’t take action or make changes when they receive customer feedback.

(Microsoft)

More than half the customers in the UK (54%), Japan (53%), and Germany (58%) don’t think their feedback is taken seriously. But customer service statistics from 2018 show that customers in the US and Brazil are slightly less cynical, with 55% of Americans and 56% of Brazilians believing their feedback leads to action.

76% of consumers believe a customer service representative should know their contact, product, and service information history.

(Microsoft)

Most people in the surveyed countries agree on this one, regardless of sex and age. The high expectations range from 64% in Japan to 93% in Brazil. But based on the experiences of 31% of the respondents, customer agents only have access to all this information occasionally. 

50% of worldwide consumers use three to five customer service channels, while 37% use one or two.

(Microsoft)

Microsoft’s customer service graph shows that 39% of those surveyed prefer support via phone or another voice channel like Skype. Meanwhile, 20% prefer email and 16% would much rather have live chat support. Surprisingly, only 5% of consumers prefer contacting organizations via social media, despite spending so much of their online time on these platforms. 

Typically, multi-channel customers are 15% more profitable than digital-only customers and up to 25% more profitable than human-only experiences.

(Accenture)

Nothing is free, not even free accounts on social media. The average consumer is simply more valuable if they have a social media presence. They’re also more susceptible to relevant advertising and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends online. 

Nearly 50% of companies understand that a solid omnichannel strategy will help them stand out and attract new clients.

(Microsoft)

These carefully collected customer service statistics indicate that most businesses are well aware of the importance of quality customer service. Microsoft reported that most customers have gone through multiple channels to get their questions answered. In fact, 9% used more than six customer service channels.

Only 8.4% of businesses have all their channels connected.

(Dimension Data)

Organizations are still struggling to provide a connected customer journey despite the fact that customer satisfaction statistics show these to be essential tools. The entirety of the customer service industry is plagued by system integration issues. Inconsistent data formats, lack of relevant education, and poor management in general all contribute to this. In many cases, channels are managed separately and fail to work towards a common goal. 

For 68% of users, phone support is the preferred solution.

(Zendesk)

Slightly fewer than half (47%) of users typically go for email support, while 34% use chat. Another 41% are more likely to search for the solution themselves through the site’s FAQ section or Google. Considering the high percentage of problems with customer service, it makes sense that some users simply bypass support agents and try to tackle the problem themselves. 

On average, 55% of consumers haven’t used any type of social media for customer service.

(Microsoft)

Of those who have, 32% used Facebook, 13% used YouTube and Twitter, 9% used Instagram, 4% used Linkedin, and 3% used other platforms. Although it may seem easier to seek assistance via social media, most customers still prefer speaking directly to a support agent over the phone. Brazil is the exception here, with 61% of respondents in that country saying they rely on Facebook for customer service.

Most consumers (72%) would rather interact with a happy agent and have the interaction take longer.

(Aspect Software)

Social media customer service stats confirm what many companies already know – positive customer service is good customer service. Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to matter how long an interaction takes as long as the customer service agent keeps spirits high. The worst alternative is not an annoyed, impatient, or even downright rude online virtual agent – it’s a disinterested one. So be sure to keep your employees happy and motivated if you want them to successfully interact with customers. 

According to Microsoft customer retention statistics, 66% of consumers first try self-service before engaging with an agent.

(Microsoft)

Of the 5,000 people surveyed, 43% say the main reason self-service is inefficient is due to a lack of information. The information was likely available but too complex to understand or too difficult to find. Only 22% of respondents said their issue turned out to be too complex to solve using self-service. A detailed, informative, and easy-to-manage automated self-service platform will save your business a lot of money on digital customer service. 

42% of B2B executives report that their mobile strategy simply consists of offering a mobile-optimized website.

(Accenture)

B2B customer service statistics advise businesses to turn their attention to mobile devices to increase their visibility. Only 32% of executives say they leverage mobile via their web channels. In other words, they don’t have apps, and customers have to track them down via web browsers. Also, 9% admitted to having no mobile strategy at all. Embracing this platform and providing an integrated customer experience is a logical and necessary step for all businesses that plan to survive in the long run.

Poor Customer Service Statistics

61% of consumers have ditched brands due to poor customer service.

(Microsoft)

Nearly half of those who switched brands due to poor customer service did so in the 12 months leading up to the 2018 Microsoft study. The percentages varied throughout the surveyed countries with 76% of Brazilians abandoning brands over customer support. In Japan, dissatisfaction levels stood at 48%.

Stats on bad customer service show that only one out of 26 unhappy customers complain.

(HuffPost)

Esteban Kolsky, a former Gartner analyst and ThinkJar founder, published a study revealing that fewer than 4% of unsatisfied customers actually make a complaint. If you think the absence of complaints signals customer satisfaction, you are sorely mistaken. Not only should companies take their customers’ complaints seriously, but they should also seek feedback well before it gets to the complaint stage. The true enemy here is indifference. 

13% of unsatisfied customers tell 15 or more people when they’re unhappy with a product/service.

(Think Jar)

Not only will your dissatisfied customers abandon your brand without giving you a chance to improve, but they’ll also badmouth you behind your back. It’s one of the most important customer service facts you need to know. With every unsatisfied customer, you’re likely to lose 15+ prospective ones. Those are some serious long-term consequences. 

Companies that ignore support requests on social media have a 15% higher average churn rate than those that do respond.

(BigCommerce)

Friends, colleagues, and meme pages typically respond to messages within minutes. As a business, you have a bit more leeway; 42% of customers expect you to respond within an hour. Some smaller businesses can achieve this with a single social media manager, while large enterprises will probably need to hire a social media management team. Follow the advice from these social media customer support stats and improve your response rate today.

91% of unhappy customers who don’t complain simply leave.

(Think Jar)

A recent survey involving hundreds of customer service and experience management professionals indicates that one can’t overstate the importance of customer support and experience. In fact, 87.2% of organizations agree that customer loyalty correlates directly with commercial success. If you want your customers to stay loyal to your brand, you need to do your best to provide a top-notch customer experience. 

Roughly 58% of consumers say it takes several really bad experiences to dump a brand.

(InMoment)

InMoment’s article on customer support trends in 2018 surveyed 1,300 US consumers. Of these, 34% said that ditching a brand is a matter of “growing apart.” In business as in life, the gradual decrease in customer experiences that made them feel special, valued, and relevant results in a different, more resourceful brand grabbing their attention.

19% of customers say they only give a brand one shot.

(InMoment)

The most demanding customers make for just under 20% of your overall user base, which might not appear too bad. Still, keep in mind that every customer who ditches you in anger is likely to tell at least 15 friends how terrible your business is. These bad customer service statistics highlight the need for quality online customer experience management tools to help you keep track of user satisfaction. You also need an uncompromising policy that values kind, approachable customer service staff. 

31% of companies in 2020 see customer service as more of an expense than a growth opportunity.

(HubSpot)

Despite its numerous benefits, companies are still not investing as much as they should in their customer service departments. To make matters worse, this customer service trend in 2020 seems to be on the rise. In 2019, 29% of businesses viewed customer support an expense rather than an opportunity. When asked about the customers themselves, 93% of support professionals agreed that they’ve become a lot more demanding.

52% of companies look for customer service feedback on review sites and social media.

(HubSpot)

Companies have finally figured out that they need to pay attention to what their customers have to say. More than half of them keep a watchful eye on online reviews. Hubspot’s customer service statistics from 2020 tell us that a promising 59% of companies rely on surveys to get feedback from their customers, while 24% of them establish a formal customer advocacy program.

42% of companies use a help desk system for their customer support needs.

(HubSpot)

However, the preferred methods differ between high and low growth companies. The help desk system is popular among high-growth companies, with 51% using this option as opposed to just 29% of low-growth firms. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a help desk system will help the growth of a company, but you shouldn’t rule it out.

FAQ
What percentage of customers will actually complain when they are dissatisfied with a service?

Customer service facts say it’s only 4%. But don’t get your hopes up; end-user comments and complaints often signify how badly things are going when it’s already too late. If you want to grow, improve, and make money, you need to learn all you can about the online behavior, interests, and expectations of your users. To businesses that are already thriving, criticism is not a setback but rather an opportunity for change and accommodation.

What percentage of customers who have a negative experience tell others about it?

Here’s the cold hard truth: 

According to omnichannel customer service statistics, 96% of customers will abandon you without leaving a note. However, they are very likely to complain about you to at least 15 friends. Spreading the word on just how much your product or service has disappointed them and how wrong they were to put their trust in you transforms your ex-customers into potential problems. If this sounds like a joke, you’re not taking customer service seriously enough.

What are the 3 most common reasons for guest complaints?

The worst thing you can do is lie and not keep your promises, as people don’t want to be cheated out of their money. Statistics about poor customer service show that agents need to keep an eye out on their disposition. Customers prefer enthusiastic, energetic, and friendly CSRs, and even a neutral attitude can be seen in a negative light. Finally, agents need to be able to solve problems during a single interaction, without having to transfer customers onto anyone else. People dislike having to repeat themselves with a new representative every time. 

And there you have it: 

More than 30 customer service statistics to guide you through your own business endeavors. A detailed understanding of user behavior and an objective approach to your marketing analysis is vital for the growth and even survival of your business. 

Bottom line:

Optimize your website for mobile devices, write relevant, targeted content regularly, and don’t underestimate the importance of paid ads. Good luck!

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By Danica Djokic · October 07,2021
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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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