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Data: Fortune, author's calculations; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Less than 3% of CEOs of the world's largest companies are women. That's according to Fortune, whose annual Fortune Global 500 list featured just 14 female CEOs last year.

Why it matters: Stagnant numbers of female CEOs don't mean that nothing is happening. Rather, they mean that boards continue to perpetuate their biased hiring practices.

By the numbers: The average tenure of a global CEO is now five years, which means that in a typical year about 100 of the CEO slots at Fortune Global 500 companies will be filled with someone new.

  • If 50 of those 100 slots went to women, you would expect the number of female CEOs to more than quadruple to 61 in 2020, and then to continue to rise to 201 in 2026 and 230 in 2030.

The big picture: Don't hold your breath. In order to get to parity, the first order of business is to fix "the leaky middle," says Jewelle Bickford, a partner at Evercore Wealth Management who's co-chair of Paradigm for Parity, an organization trying to close the corporate gender gap.

  • How it works: Experienced and talented women often drop out of the workforce in their 40s and 50s when they're burdened by both children and parents who need care and attention. Predictive analytics can identify individuals at risk of dropping out and significantly improve their retention rate.

Go deeper

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead — Fighting COVID-19's effects on gender equality.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: NYC postpones vaccine appointments following shipment delays — Private companies step in to fill vaccine logistics vacuum.
  4. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Both chambers of Congress on Thursday voted to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the path to confirmation for President Biden's nominee for defense secretary.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

McConnell proposes February impeachment trial

Sen. Mitch McConnell Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is proposing that the impeachment trial of former President Trump begin in mid-February to allow for "due process."

Why it matters: The impeachment trial is likely to grind other Senate business to a halt, including the confirmation process for President Biden's Cabinet nominees.

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