Last week, we proudly shared the announcement that Hilary Doe is now NationBuilder’s president. This gave me a chance to pause and consider the incredible leadership we have, and I wondered: How many companies are like ours—led by majority-female leadership teams?
The answer was surprising for two reasons. First, there is a shocking lack of data to answer this question. While lots of sources track incidence of female CEOs, almost no one cites the arguably as important stat to the gender gap—the percentage of women on leadership teams overall. Second, the limited data that does exist implies NationBuilder is more unusual than I’d imagined.
The best reference we found comes from a 2018 study by Quartz, who analyzed 1,500 of the largest public companies in 27 countries, including the 500 largest listed companies in Europe, Asia, and the United States. The percentage of companies with majority-female leadership teams was alarming.
Only 4.6% had women in a majority of management positions, meaning more than 95% of companies have majority male management. And only 1.2% of companies have more than half of their C-suite positions filled by women. Less than 2%.
I knew when I arrived here three months ago that things at NationBuilder were different - and now I understood part of the reason why. I decided to make a video about it, by surprising the leadership team here asking what they thought of the 2% statistic.
Among my favorite responses was our VP of Customer Success, Jay Godfrey, who said:
“It’s staggering to hear that figure. I’ve been here at NationBuilder for a long time and it feels so natural and ordinary and it's just a thing that is a fact of life. It’s wild to reflect that my experience is so far outside the norm.”
This fact about NationBuilder is not ancillary to what we do, but intrinsic to who we are and why we are. Elevating leaders that have been traditionally underrepresented is at the heart of our work and I’m so proud to be a part of this team.