Let’s start with the good news. The number women who hold the title ‘Chief Operating Officer’ at the 75 biggest companies in Massachusetts has doubled since 2019.
The bad news: that number increased from three to six.
The data come from the Eos Foundation, a Massachusetts philanthropic foundation that publishes reports on gender and racial disparities in leadership under an initiative called ‘The Women’s Power Gap.’
Eos Foundation President Andrea Silbert frequently hears the severe gender gap is because of a “pipeline problem.” In other words, there simply aren’t enough women training and preparing for the top executive role.
She doesn’t buy it.
“You get all the way up to the top and then you just don’t get the next position,” Silbert said.
She pointed to the fact that 20% of the people who hold so-called ‘launch positions,’ such as company chief operating officers or presidents are women. Ideally, these positions would lead to the ultimate corner office. But for most women, it doesn’t.