Out of 500 current Fortune 500 CEOs, just five are Black while 466 are white.
According to data collected by the Wall Street Journal, just 1 percent of all CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are Black – a statistic that has been trending down over the last decade. From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies doubled from 0.6 percent in 2000 to 1.2 percent in 2010 before falling back to 1 percent in 2020.
Asian-American CEOs have risen slowly over the last two decades, going from 1.8 percent in 2000 to 2.4 percent in 2020. Hispanic CEOs have seen a greater rise since 2000, going from 1 percent to 3.4 percent in 2020.
The rise in female CEOs has been perhaps the most significant over the last two decades. With just two women as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in 2000, there are now 37 women in CEO positions as of August 2020 – a leap of over 18 times.
Studies cited by the Wall Street Journal show how Black, Asian and Hispanic executives face more obstacles when navigating the leadership pipeline of various Fortune 500 companies. Overall, surveys show that minority employees at these companies see obstacles like less opportunities for advancement, smaller rates of retention and tougher recruitment barriers.