1 min read

Wall Street women smashing the silicon ceiling

Was 2014 the year the female wave started its slow ‘n’ steady ebb, disrupting the billion-dollar business boardroom? These three females are turning the tide in with their tech tactics and their stock is climbing. Do female CEOs really perform better than male CEOs?
Published on
March 7, 2023

The village pitch forks may be out against Hershey’s (HSY) HER for SHE choccie bar, but there’s only one stake in town the week of International Women’s Day (IWD): another five women have staked their claim as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. 🔥 After years of butting heads against the glass ceiling - with just 8% of women holding a CEO position of these publicly listed companies - this January, the female wave ebbed a ‘meagre’ but important 2%, to land above 10%, aka 53 women. For the S&P 500, that number is 41 women (8.2%) out of 500 companies. 💪 

As the gender silicon ceiling crawls on, IWD’s ‘DigitALL’ theme aims to champion technology as the pathway to transform gender equality. ♀️ Not news to electrical engineer and AMD (AMD) CEO, Dr Lisa Su, who last year launched her namesake Innovating Equity Grant to encourage female students to ‘play an active role building the future’. 

It’s been an electric ride for Dr Su, the woman CNN called, ‘one of the most powerful women in tech’. 2019 S&P Global research found companies with female CEOs typically perform better than the market average. And with Dr Su taking charge of AMD in 2014, she took the semiconductor company from ‘the brink of bankruptcy’ to sparking up their stock an electrifying 2818%. ⚡

At the helm of Oracle (ORCL), also since 2014, is former Wall Streeter Safra Catz, closer of the IT company’s more than 130 acquisitions worth billions. Under her captaincy, Oracle investors have seen Catz steer company shares up 134%. 🤝

And while it seems everyone has an opinion on ARK Invest CEO and chief investment officer Cathie Wood, who founded the company in 2014, she has powered ahead throwing big money investing in disruptive technologies ‘at the pace of innovation’. This includes this year’s ‘big ideas’, from multiomic sequencing, AI and robotics, to public blockchains and energy storage. Yet despite 2022 being called by some Wood’s ‘worst-ever year’, and with no sign tech’s out of the, erm, woods yet, her flagship Innovation ETF’s (ARKK) year-to-date performance has rallied, up 30%. Sometimes, being pretty hurts. 😉

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