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A Diversity Study on US Women CEOs

Jack Hammer has initiated an independent study project with contributors from Harvard Business School to analyse a sample pool of organisations in the US with women at the helm (in CEO roles).

The objective of this study is to identify the road map for success – as it exists currently – by analysing the trends, patterns and variables that most typically lead to women being appointed to CEO roles in the USA. This study will utilise desk-based research, as well as qualitative data gained from interviews with female CEOs. The intention (and hope) is fresh, globally relevant, cutting edge data and insights in this domain, that will ultimately further the progress and mobility of Women in Leadership.

We aim to answer some of the following questions:
Are these success factors evolving and changing over time? What are the new role models for the future? And how do we use these insights to finally shift the needle by increasing the number of women in top leadership roles?

Looking ahead:

A mirror study will then be conducted in South Africa (where Jack Hammer is headquartered). With the heavy emphasis on diversity, employment equity and black economic empowerment in South Africa, are there any common trends, patterns or significant differentiators? And what might these countries learn from each other about the advancement of women? These studies will contribute to the growing body of thought leadership on the advancement of women in the corporate world.

Project Contributors
Debbie Goodman-Bhyat is the founder and CEO of Jack Hammer.  For more than 20 years, she has partnered with some of the region’s top corporations, as well as global private equity investors in Africa – helping them find great leaders for executive and board appointments. She is currently in the US, extending Jack Hammer’s footprint to California. Her latest start-up business is Virtual Coaching Partners, an online platform that connects professionals and entrepreneurs with world class career coaches, globally. Debbie’s first book, “IntheFlow – Taking Mindfulness to Work”, was listed in the ‘Top 10 Best’ South African business books. Her next one, ‘Inside the Interview – The Secret to Great Hiring Decisions’, is to be published in 2019. She plays a global leadership role in EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organisation), an international network of more than 14 000 entrepreneurs affiliated to YPO and WPO. She is currently working on a global diversity study with contributors from Harvard Business School, and is establishing an international mentorship program for social entrepreneurs.

Leila Meliani is deeply passionate about equity and inclusion and has extended this passion to her work in financial services, management consulting and venture capital. She is currently attending Harvard Business School where she is pursuing her Master of Business Administration. Leila is co-leading the Jack Hammer Diversity Study on US Women CEOs in the Fortune 1000. Her recent research for venture capital firm Harlem Capital addressed the talent landscape of black and Latinx venture capital investors and was featured in Forbes and Black Enterprise magazine. Prior to graduate school, Leila led initiatives to advance talent and diversity strategies at Goldman Sachs. She also recently spent time advising clients on human capital and organizational performance at Deloitte Consulting LLP. Leila earned her Bachelor of Arts from Howard University. She was born and raised in northern New Jersey and currently resides in Boston.

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