New York — The heads of Bank of America, American Electric Power, Coca-Cola and 24 more large global companies have pledged to boost the number of women in their top ranks to parity with men by 2030. Urged by female leaders including Ellen Kullman, former chairman and CEO of Dupont, and Jewelle Bickford, partner at Evercore Wealth Management, the CEOs joined a programme called Paradigm for Parity that prescribes five steps for advancing women. It will be a tough climb. Women compose 14% of the top five executive positions at each of the S&P 500 companies, and just 20 of the CEO jobs, or 4%. They are advancing so slowly that parity could take more than a century at current rates, according to a 2015 study by McKinsey & Co and LeanIn.org. McKinsey Global managing partner Dominic Barton signed the Paradigm for Parity pledge. "What’s frustrating is that, to date, there has been so little progress," Bickford said in a conference call announcing the initiative. Many organisations support ...

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