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Monday, February 21, 2005

Sometimes its tough to be the (female) boss...

One major accomplishment of Carly Fiorina went unnoticed in her ouster last week as one of the nation's most prominent chief executives: Her six-year tenure set a record of sorts. Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Fiorina lasted longer than other women who lost their jobs as Fortune 1000 chief executives in recent years. Remember Jill Barad at Mattel Inc.? She transformed the 1950s Barbie into a new millennium sensation, but Barad lasted only three years. Pamela Lieberman was forced out after two years at the helm of True Value Co., while S. Marce Fuller, who has held the top post at electricity company Mirant Corp. for five years, is resigning.

Although the tenure of male chief executives is shortening amid intense post-Enron scrutiny by corporate boards and shareholders, it isn't that short. The average chief executive of the world's largest publicly traded companies holds his job for 8.2 years, while women stay 4.8 years, according to a study by Booz Allen Hamilton. The consultant cautioned, however, that there are so few women chief executives that it is hard to draw conclusions.

''A CEO who is a woman is a classic example of a woman who is succeeding extremely well in a male-dominated field. She's not supposed to be up there," said Rosalind Barnett of Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center and coauthor of ''Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs."

CHECK OUT: Getting to top is hard but staying isn't easy

Comments: Post a Comment

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