Big brands appoint female leaders

After a record-breaking year in 2017, the number of female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies in 2018 is down to just 24, or 4.8%. Cassandra’s Self Made report discovered that more young men than young women in the U.S., UK, and Australia are interested in leadership positions, but seeing more companies with females in positions of power will help introduce young women to the opportunity.


It took more than two hundred years, but the New York Stock Exchange has appointed its first female president. Stacey Cunningham, who has been with the NYSE since she started as a summer intern in 1994, will move from her current role as chief operating officer to the company’s 67th president in the past 226 years. Tools are emerging to make investing and trading more accessible to Millennials and Gen Z, and having a female leader at the NYSE will help show young women that such roles are available to them.


The beauty brand, which has been generous in raising funds for women’s health issues, appointed the first female CEO in the company’s 86 years this January. Debra Perelman is the daughter of billionaire Ronald Perelman, who is the cosmetic company’s controlling shareholder, and she’s served on Revlon’s board since 2015. Previously, Perelman was a senior executive at MacAndrew & Forbes, her father’s investment firm which owns more than 80% of Revlon. Perelman faces challenges as Revlon struggles to compete with the growing popularity of direct-to-consumer brands such as Glossier and young consumer’s desire for customized beauty products.


This past September, Priscillah Mabelane became the first Black woman to head a international company in the history of South Africa’s oil industry. Mabelane has been with BP’s South African division for six years, joining BPSA in 2011 as its chief financial officer. Prior to that she served as the operations director for BP’s UK retail business. Currently half of BPSA’s executive team is female. As more young people prioritize sustainability and eco-friendly products, BP has to emphasize its commitment to aligning with these values.