the future of gender equity: predictions and pathways

When women come together, they hold the power to create ripple effects across organizations and industries — creating pathways toward progress and a more equitable future. At Chief, we’re able to see into that future, because our members (women executives at the top of their companies) are the ones shaping it.

We surveyed more than 350 Chief members about what they think the future holds and what it will take to reach gender parity faster. In a year when women collectively lost decades of progress in the workforce, their insights are a call to action for leaders across the country.


Chief members told us how long they expect it will take to reach gender parity across these milestones.

*Timeline based on average year members expect to reach parity.
Chief members expect to see the first woman become President in the next two to three election cycles
More than 50% of members believe their own workplace will reach pay parity within two decades
On average, members predict it will take 31 years to achieve equal representation in leadership across their respective industries
Fortune 500 CEOs
Nearly 60% of members believe women will not account for 50% of Fortune 500 CEOs until 2056
Gender Parity
According to the World Economic Forum, the overall global gender gap is predicted to close in 99.5 years

Prioritize Equal Pay and Representation in Corporate Leadership

Of members surveyed, 63% said that ensuring equal pay across genders and levels would be the most impactful measure companies, governments, or organizations can take. Members ranked getting more women into corporate leadership roles as the second most impactful measure.
Equal pay
More women in corporate leadership roles
Better and more affordable access to child care
More women in goverment leadership roles
Longer paid maternity leave (4-6 months)
*Mean scores calculated on a range between 1-5, with 5 being most impactful.

Implement National Legislative Policies

76% Said that national legislation is very important to ensure that women have an equal chance of achieving success and pay parity at work as their male counterparts

45% However, even with a record-breaking number of women in Congress and Cabinet positions, only 45% of respondents feel the administration is poised to act on these women-supporting policy initiatives

Leave a Legacy for Those Behind You

Chief members have already created policies in the workplace that are designed to support future generations of women and other underrepresented identity groups. These policies include more flexible working hours, inclusive hiring practices, pay transparency, and paid leave.
image 52% Believe compensation goals associated with diversity and representation would be effective
image 56% Have personally implemented policies they believe will benefit women
image 66% Already have policies in place or are implementing new policies to support diversity and inclusion

Focus on the Most Vulnerable Groups

While companies have prioritized policies supporting diversity and inclusion, only 34% of members surveyed said these efforts were exclusively to drive impact, versus being performative or a mix of both.

  • 49% of Chief members who identify as BIPOC said that companies are listening to and better equipping BIPOC women for success, compared to 50% of white members 
  • 26% of BIPOC members said their companies are not supporting BIPOC employees, versus 16% of white members.

Mentorship: Paying It Forward

Despite having an average of 0-3 mentors throughout their careers, 73% of Chief members mentor 4+ mentees today. Nearly 30% of members said they currently have more than 10 mentees.


67% said they had only 0-3 mentors themselves


49% reported having 7+ mentees over their professional career

Collaboration: Creating Powerful Networks

Of members surveyed, 43% ranked an extensive professional network as the most valuable resource for career mobility.
Extensive Professional Network
Executive Coaching
Workshops & Webinars
Conferences & Summits

Chief Members Look Future Forward

“We are now actively mobilizing across many forums. Finally, we are collaborating to find our collective voice.”

Executive Director

New York Chief Member since May 2020

“I'm most hopeful about the impact we will have. So many questions and challenges aren't answered because no one is there to even ask the questions. Bringing more women and BIPOC into leadership positions will change everything.”

Vice President of Market Development

San Francisco Chief Member since December 2020

“Women are supporting women more than ever and are pulling each other up while pushing on the historic norms. That is what will continue to drive change. Men are also starting to change the conversation.”

Audit Partner and Chicago Office Audit Practice Leader

Chicago Chief Member since August 2020

“I’m most hopeful that a broader representation of voices will be raised up and heard. Women are more open to experiencing things in a new way. As a woman of color, this is very important to me.”

SVP, Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer

San Francisco Chief Member since December 2020

Join Chief and become part of a brighter future.