Laura Mather wrote on Huff Post:

Let’s start with the numbers: women represent about 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Minorities represent approximately 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Therefore, only 9 percent of the biggest companies in the U.S. have CEOs who are not white men.


Gender and racial diversity are still grievously lacking across all sectors of the United States, and that is not going to change by asking the minority to “lean in”. Instead, let’s reroute that guidance to the 91 percent of leaders in the workforce who are white men, and place that responsibility in the power of the majority.

Is it true that 91 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs in the United States are white men?

  • 6
    By the way, I am downvoting this question because the questioner clearly failed to follow the links in the article which sources the figures. Mar 10, 2017 at 15:17
  • 2
    If there are any minority woman CEOs than they would count for both those figures. So it would be more accurate to say that at least 91% of Fortune 500 CEOs are white men - it could be higher. Jun 21, 2017 at 19:53
  • @DanSmolinske Indra K. Nooyi matches what you are describing, but the majority of women CEOs look like non-minorities... whatever that means.
    – daniel
    Jun 22, 2017 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


The article you ask about references good sources that back up its claims.

The article is specifically about Fortune 500 company CEOs, so this answer will be about that.

The article cites its sources for both the 5% women and 4% minorities figures, based on Fortune 500 surveys. Based on these, at least 91% of Fortune 500 CEOs are white men.


The answer depends on the definition of white people. The Census Bureau of the United States define white people as follows:

"White" refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. It includes people who indicated their race(s) as "White" or reported entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Arab, Moroccan or Caucasian.

According to the above definition, the claim is true. But many of the groups included in the above definition are not considered white by other definitions. For example, Wikipedia defines white people as:

White people is a racial classification specifier, used for people of Europid ancestry, with the exact implications dependent on context. The contemporary usage of "white people" or a "white race" as a large group of (mainly European) populations contrasting with "black", American Indian (sometimes called red), "colored" or non-white originated in the 17th century.

  • @MohammadSakibArifin The link only addresses half the claim (gender), so you can only say that the claim is half true, while you have no evidence of race either way. Also, you need to include the number from the link in your answer, otherwise it's a link-only answer.
    – Laurel
    Jun 22, 2017 at 4:17
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    -1: There is no attempt here to find the source of the data, to see how they define "white man". You don't get to choose your own definition to change the claim.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 22, 2017 at 11:18

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