How Were The Women Chosen?

The Definitive List of Women CEOs is the product of a data-driven research project that began by identifying all publicly listed companies on all of the twenty-one stock exchanges in Africa – a list of over 1,400 companies.  The data for the analysis was provided by Bloomberg. From there, the researchers screened the companies in order to focus on the largest, those with a market capitalization of $150 million USD or larger, resulting in a list of 355 corporations.

Once the researchers had identified these 355 companies, the largest in Africa, they then searched the public information available on the management teams of these companies.  In order to qualify for the List, women had to have a CEO or managing director title at the head of one of these companies. The titles were then vetted further by examining where the women fit within the company’s overall organizational structure to ensure that the women truly hold authority that is consistent with their title.  

In addition to the women selected through the process above, the analysis went on to identify two additional groups of women running Corporate Africa.  One additional group of women are those who run very large divisions of these same 355 listed companies, such that their division if spun out, would qualify for the list with its own divisional market cap of at least $150 million USD.  The roles of the women running these divisions were vetted within the context of the company’s organizational structure – the title alone was not sufficient to make the list.  The women in this group have profit and loss responsibility for a revenue-generating division that would be valued at $150 million or more.

Lastly, women who run an African country or region for global corporations listed on international stock exchanges were then identified.  To qualify for this group, only international companies with a market cap of $50 billion or more are included.  The women running these businesses range from those who run a country, such as Kenya or Nigeria, to those who run all of sub-Saharan Africa for these global behemoths. Chair and Executive Editor Teresa Clarke said, “I am especially proud of our research team at  This was a long and arduous effort that started with data provided by Bloomberg, with the overlay of an experienced team of business researchers, including myself, evaluating the roles and responsibilities of the women leading these publicly listed companies.”

Log on October 13th to see who these women are.

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