Women CEO's finally outnumber CEOs called John

The 'John Problem' highlights that there is a true sense on gender inequality in the workforce, especially within leading roles.

Margaux Martinez
22nd May 2023
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Towards the end of April this year, a Bloomberg report confirmed that women CEOs (Chief Executive Officer) have finally outnumbered the CEOs called John. 

First reported around 2015, this phenomenon known as the ‘John Problem’ in the United States of America illustrated in a compelling way the gender inequality in high ranked roles in companies. Although John is a common name as it used to represent 3.27 percent of the US population, there were much more women in the US (50.8 percent) according to the New York Times in 2018. The proportions were not matching a true sense of equality. 

The proportions were not matching a true sense of equality

As of today, there are 41 women who stand as CEOs in the leading S&P 500 companies and only 23 CEOs named John or a variation of the name (Jon, Jonathan,...) which is a win for women in that field. However, women only account for 8.2% of CEO roles in large companies. Thus, the gap between men and women has still long to go to be filled. Data such as the Glass Ceiling Index created by the economist Justin Wolfers allow a comprehensive understanding of the issue as a whole.

This is a fight for women’s place in big companies and that the fight is not over yet

As the article by AXIOS says “outnumbering Johns is nice, but men overall still have a huge lead here”. This means that it has not been a war against men named John but rather a fight for women’s place in big companies and that the fight is not over yet.

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