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Women Hold Their Own in C-Suite at Nation’s Largest Banks


Sept. 2 - The percentage of women in executive roles at the nation’s 50 largest banks has edged up slightly – from 16 percent to 16.9 percent, according to the latest Women at the Top® (WATT®) Study. Women hold 113 of 670 total senior management positions.

The study also reveals that 41.6 percent of those female executives hold C-level positions at the very top of their organizations, down from 43.2 percent last year. However, the number of C-level female executive rose by six to 47.

“After a period of consolidation and two years of declines in the number of senior management jobs at the large banks, those jobs are rebounding – from 594 last year to 670 in our newest study – and there are excellent opportunities for women,” said Regina Barr, founder of the WATT® Network and Red Ladder, Inc. “Banks are concerned about a talent gap. As some financial professionals go elsewhere in the financial services universe because of concern about the stability of traditional banking jobs, there are many women capable of filling the gap.”

It’s a great time for women who aspire to the banking C-suite to shore up their leadership skills, Barr said. “Cultivate a sponsor who is more than a mentor; this is someone who will put you forward for opportunities and back you up,” she advised. “And cultivate skills that will move you ahead. Self-promotion and negotiation are critical skills that most women need to develop or improve.”    

According to the new WATT® Study, the number of female CEOs at the 50 largest banks dropped from three to two. However, the number of bank division CEOs increased from two to four, bank division CFOs grew from four to five, and the number of female chief credit officers increased from two to three. The traditionally higher numbers in executive marketing and human resources positions held steady. The number of women in each position includes:

However, six of the top 50 banks have no women in management, compared to eight in 2013 and four in 2012. In 2007, 30 percent of the nation’s largest banks did not have a single woman in a senior-level position. Today, up to one-third of senior managers are women at a few of the largest banks.

About the Women at the Top® (WATT®) Study: Students at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, led by instructor Terrilyn Morgan, conducted the WATT® Study. Students identified and ranked by asset size the nation’s 50 largest commercial banks, using Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data as of December 31, 2013, and then used publicly available information such as annual reports to determine the number of women in leadership positions. The WATT® Study, conducted regularly since 1999, is sponsored and managed by The Women at the Top® (WATT®) Network.

About the Women at the Top® Network:
The Women at the Top® Network is a nationwide community of aspiring and high-achieving women who share the desire to develop and nurture their own leadership skills and those of other women. For more information, visit or call 641-453-1007.