DALLAS-FORT WORTH - You know those lists that come out every year ranking the highest paid CEOs?
Well, one from North Texas caught Molly Evans and KERA's eye—there was only one woman in the 100 top paid public company CEOs.
In the S&P 500, there are only 22 female CEOs—that's about 4.4 percent.
Elissa Sangster, executive director of the Forté Foundation, says that low percentage is being reflected in North Texas. Her Austin-based organization seeks to put more women in top-tier business careers.
Really? Good for the bottom line? Entrepreneur Karen Rubin was skeptical.
She’s product manager with the Boston-based trading platform Quantopian. She ran a simulation investing only in publicly-traded, women-led companies from 2002 to 2014.
“And it outperformed the S&P 500 pretty dramatically,” Rubin says. “With 200 percent greater gains than the S&P 500 over the same time period.”
Rubin was shocked.
“I’ve spent a year-and-a-half now trying to disprove it, to understand if there’s a fallacy in my thinking or the code I wrote," she says. "I have not been able to find something that completely disproves it yet.”
Still, you can’t stick a woman in the CEO spot and expect profits to magically rise.
In fact, a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics shows one female figurehead isn’t enough.
In the research, profitability only went up when multiple women were in corporate leadership—but that was for companies that went from having zero women leaders to a 30 percent share.
If Fortune 500 companies want to groom women for these top jobs, Sangster says they need to reach them at the very start of their careers.