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Latin America: Few Female CEOs

March 08, 2012

Only a dismal 1.8 percent of Latin American companies are run by women, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of the Latin 500 ranking of the region’s largest companies. Only nine of them had female CEOs.

While that’s a dismally low figure, it’s similar to the U.S. and European rates. Only 12 of the Fortune 500 companies are women, while only nine women lead Financial Times 500 companies...

...“It remains a closed club with the much discussed glass ceiling,” says Susan Segal, President and CEO of the Council of the Americas, which includes major corporations that do business in Latin America.

The Latin Business Chronicle research comes as Petrobras, Latin America’s largest company, recently appointed its first female CEO, Maria das Gracas Foster.

“Existing CEOs and board of directors in the region need corporate role models with women CEO’s, which is why the appointment of Gracas Foster at Petrobras is so important in promoting gender parity at the top,” Segal says. “To foment broad based change in multiple companies there will need to be real pressure applied and a realization of what seems self evident, at least, to me, why the decision is good for the company.”

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