Best Buy's new female CEO will join a growing – yet minimalist – club

With the news that Best Buy called Corie Barry's new CEO, the number of S&P 500 CEOs will grow to 26 when Barry takes office in June, according to the latest census from Catalyst Catalyst. The 26 female CEOs represent only 5.2% of all S & P 500 CEOs.
Barry will also join Best Buys board, which will expand to 13 directors.
Current Best Buy Chief Financial Officer, Barry will be the company's fifth CEO and his first female CEO. She replaces Hubert Joly, who will enter the newly created role of CEO of the company's board.

For an incoming CEO, Barry is quite young and turning 44 this week. By comparison, the median age when men and women are appointed CEO is about 55, according to the company's data research provider Equilar.

Barry's agreement is welcoming news to those who have advocated several female executives and directors. [1[ads1]9659006] But PSA: We are well into the 21st century, and women have been in the workforce for decades.

While women make up nearly half of the total workforce of the S&P 500 companies, the proportion of women in several older roles is much lower. Only 27% of senior management is held by women, while only about 5% of CEOs are female, according to Catalyst.

Why the big fee?

"There are many cultural issues that we still have to deal with. There is not enough guidance and sponsorship of women to ensure they get the" hot "jobs, said Catalyst President and CEO Lorraine Hariton.

"Hot" jobs are first and foremost revenue generating growth positions that give people skill sets and visibility that are more likely to put them on corporate tracks.

Women who make it to the C suite [19659012] usually take non-revenue generating roles in finance, marketing or human resources, noted Hariton.

  How Best Buys outgoing CEO, Hubert Joly, rescued the company


Also, she added, is the unconscious disturbance and stereotyping of women in the workplace, as well as a "Goldilock's syndrome." For example, a woman risks being seen as either for self-confident or not self-confident enough for a given role. In other words, "she must be very perfect to move on," Hariton explains.

In Barry's case, she came through the financial channel, but also served in some operational roles at Best Buy along the way, including a stint as her top strategic growth officer.

The good news is that at all indications Barry was prepared for the CEO, Hariton said.

And it is a growing understanding today that companies that make a joint effort to promote female leaders make it better financially and competitively, she added.

– CNN's Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.

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