The rate of women taking over the top position at companies nationwide is ticking up in 2020, as calls for diversity and inclusion intensify around the country, according to a new analysis of CEO turnover data from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Of the 591 replacement CEOs recorded in the first half of 2020, 138, or 23.4%, were women, the highest rate recorded since Challenger began tracking gender data in 2010. That is up from 21.6% of female CEO replacements in the first half of 2019 and 18.6% in the first half of 2018.

The rate of new women CEOs is up significantly from 2010, when 12.4% of CEO replacements were women.

“While it is indeed good news that more women are taking the top job at U.S. companies, the rate is still less than one in four. We know it is even lower for women of color,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Gender diversity, along with other visible and unseen diversity, is crucial to creating an environment that finds and develops the best talent for the role. In the wake of nationwide protests for racial equity, many companies have made public statements that they will strive for more diversity. It remains to be seen how this will translate to meaningful change,” he added.

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