Why There Are So Few Women CEOs – And What Can Be Done About It

“I was surprised there was only one woman on the list.”

By Lauren SilvermanAugust 18, 2016 9:30 am, ,

From KERA News

You know those lists that come out every year ranking the highest paid CEOs? Well, one from North Texas caught our eye: there was only one woman in the 100 top paid public company CEOs.

The data, from The Dallas Morning News and Longnecker & Associates, raised two big questions: first, is Texas an anomaly? And second, does it matter for investors if women make it to the C-suite?

Pam Patsley is used to being both a powerful and petite woman. When we meet in a 15th-floor conference room in Dallas, the first thing she does is adjust the height of her chair so her black ballet flats reach the ground.

Patsley became CEO of MoneyGram International – one of the world’s largest cash-transfer firms – in 2009, right after the financial crisis. Her job was to steer the behemoth to safety, all$1 billion-plus of revenue and 300,000 locations – and she did.

She says her previous experience as CFO and CEO of two other Dallas-based financial companies helped.

In January, after six years at the helm, she stepped down to serve as executive chairman of MoneyGram.

Patsley didn’t come from a family of business people — she’s the daughter of two schoolteachers from St. Louis – but she says she’s always wanted to be successful.

“[I] was more driven less about position but just really about achieving and earning money, to be perfectly candid,” she says.

Patsley didn’t dwell on being a female CEO, nor ranking as one of the highest-paid women executives in 2009. Still, when she saw her name on the 2016 list of top-paid public company CEOs in North Texas, she was surprised.

“I was surprised there was only one woman on the list,” Patsley says.

Maybe she shouldn’t have been.

In the S&P 500, there are only 22 female CEOs – that’s about 4.4 percent.

Read more.

A look at women CEOs in Texas.

Molly Evans/KERA News