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U.S. companies have more female CFOs than ever before

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Eileen Murray settles with Bridgewater, Michelle Obama has a final pitch for the Biden-Harris campaign, and the number of female CFOs reaches a record. Have a lovely Wednesday.

– A CFO record. The Broadsheet has been tracking the record number of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 this year, but there’s another all-time high to report: The number of female CFOs.

According to data from executive recruiter Crist Kolder Associates, there are 90 female CFOs at S&P 500 and Fortune 500 firms, surpassing the previous peak of 89 in 2018, Bloomberg reports. Recent female CFO appointments include Ann Gugino at Papa John’s, Gina Goetter at Harley-Davidson and Amy O’Keefe at WW International.

Tom Kolder, president of Crist Kolder, told Bloomberg the trend reflects the fierce competition for finance jobs; firms are looking deeper into their finance bench, where more women are present.

Once in the role, women have an impressive track record. A study by S&P Global Market Intelligence last year found that in the first 24 months of a woman taking over as CFO, companies on average saw a 6% uptick in profits and an 8% better stock return , compared to performance under male predecessors.

Still, being CFO is not a common stepping stone for the CEO role. In fact, over the last eight years, no more than 7% of sitting CEOs came directly from the CFO role, according to Crist Kolder.

It’s a trend I talked to Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar about last year. She was a rare CFO to make the jump, having been Square’s chief financial officer before taking her current chief executive position. As to why that move is so rare, Friar said the mindsets of the jobs are vastly different; a CFO must provide discipline, while a CEO is often required to take risks.

Claire Zillman
claire.zillman@fortune.com
@clairezillman

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

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