New Data: Large American Companies Nudge Up Hiring Of Black And Female CFOs

New Data: Large American Companies Nudge Up Hiring Of Black And Female CFOs

There is uplifting news bellowing from the C-suites of large U.S. companies: They are beefing up actions to hire Black and female CFOs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of companies in the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 with Black chief financial officers rose to “20 last year, a hefty jump from 12 two years ago.”

The fresh finding is based on data from executive search firm Crist Kolder Associates. The climb represents “2.9% of 678 sitting CFOs, up from 1.8% in 2020. And the percentage of female CFOs at those firms too reached their best level ever at 15.1% in 2021, up from 12.6% in 2020.”

Still, the question is how long will the ascent last? The gain rose from a comparably low mark as boards and company leaders have been under more pressure to enhance diversity at senior executive levels. Some  more encouraging news news is recruiters are confident the trend will rise this year, per the WSJ.

So who were companies that hired Black CFOs last year? The WSJ reported they included  “AT&T Inc., which promoted Pascal DesrochesFoot Locker Inc., which hired Andrew Page; and investment firm Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, which recruited Dave Dowrich.” Others, like Zoetis Inc. and W. W. Grainger Inc., also hired Black finance executives.

And companies like Charter Communications Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., and Eli Lilly & Co. brought on female CFOs,. the WSJ disclosed.  Many companies have stepped up their diversity efforts at the board and senior executive level since the killing of George Floyd and national protests on racial issues. The number of “ethically and racially diverse CFOs” at large U.S. companies has risen annually since 2013, the data showed.
Josh Crist, co-managing partner at Crist Kolder, told the WSJ thatthese executives often excel at building bridges to other areas of the business and help strengthen the organization, They’re very progressive thinkers, to the point where the business will listen to them.”
Zoetis’ CFO Wetteny Joseph applauded the diverse CFO hiring. Still, he told the WSJ that “companies must continue to invest in a diverse pipeline, especially early career, in order for it to be a lasting and bigger change.”