5 Top Stocks Led by Female CEOs

March 8, 2023

Today (8 March) marks International Women’s Day. It is a time to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

It is also an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made towards gender equality and the work that still needs to be done.

At CGS-CIMB Securities, we are led by our Group CEO, Carol Fong, who is based in Singapore.

As investors, we have a role to play in promoting gender diversity and equality in the companies we invest in.

One of the ways is to consider investing in companies that prioritise gender diversity and equality or by looking to invest in companies with women in leadership positions.

So, with that, here are the five top global stocks that are led by female CEOs.

1. OCBC Bank

Singapore is ranked among the top nations globally for female CEO representation.

This includes seasoned banker, Helen Wong, who was appointed as the Group CEO of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (SGX: O39), which is better known as OCBC.

Wong is also the first female to head a Singapore bank.

Under her leadership, OCBC has reported strong earnings amid the rising interest rate environment.

OCBC saw a substantial higher net interest income (NII), in line with the expansion of net interest margin (NIM).

Going forward, OCBC’s well-renowned wealth management arm could also benefit from the reopening in China.

At its current level, OCBC shares are trading at an attractive 12-month forward dividend yield of 6.38%.

2. AMD

Historically, the technology sector has had difficulty accepting and retaining women in the industry.

Lisa Su, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD) – also known as AMD – is a rare exception and, under her leadership, AMD’s stock has soared by more than 20 times.

During the last year, AMD’s share price was severely affected by the selloff in the tech sector.

While the recent slowdown in the PC market has affected AMD, the company has pivoted to more lucrative parts of the business with the highest earnings driver coming from data centres.

AMD has solid leadership, with CEO Lisa Su taking the company from the brink of bankruptcy prior to 2017 to a dominant position in the chip space.

With the structural growth story for the tech industry remaining strong over the long term, the current weakness in the market could be a buying opportunity for investors.

3. Northrop Grumman

Kathy Warden is the chair, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC).

She became the company’s first female CEO in 2019. Given that Northrop Grumman is a global aerospace and defense technology company, her appointment was even more impressive.

Under her leadership, Northrop Grumman secured a key Department of Defense Next-Generation Interceptor contract.

The company also consistently generates strong earnings and positive cash flow.

With the rising demand for security amid geopolitical tensions, Northrop Grumman could fit into your portfolio – especially if you are looking to ride through the current volatile market.

4. General Motors

Mary Barra rose to the top of General Motors Co (NYSE: GM) in 2014 after an impressive decades-long career there.

In the process, she also made history as the first female CEO of any major automobile manufacturer in the world.

While most automotive investors might look at GM as falling behind Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), GM recorded a strong financial performance in FY2022.

Automotive adjusted free cash flow stood at US$10.5 billion, even after investing about US$9 billion in capital expenditures.

Aside from the improved operational performance, Barra is also focused on innovation as seen by the ownership of 80% in autonomous driving company, Cruise.

With the potential of disrupting the auto business and a strong brand name, GM offers a great investment opportunity for long-term investors.

5. UPS

United Parcel Service Inc (NYSE: UPS), or simply known as UPS, is another company led by a female CEO.

Carol Tomé became the first female CEO at UPS after she came out of retirement in 2020.

She was also the first CEO that was not promoted from within the UPS organisation. She was serving as the CFO at Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) in 2019 prior to her retirement.

While her appointment came during the pandemic, she delivered a strong result with operating margins increasing to 13.8% in her first year as compared to 11% in 2019.

Currently, UPS and other transportation companies are struggling with the rising inflationary pressure and global economic slowdown.

The current operating climate is difficult, but UPS has been a long-term winner because of its ability to navigate through tough times and come out of down cycles in a position to capitalise.

With Tomé at the helm, investors can look beyond the short-term volatility in the market and take advantage of market weakness as a buying opportunity.

International Women’s Day: Celebrating women’s impact and their leadership

Investing in companies that put women in leadership roles can help to break down gender barriers and promote a more inclusive and equitable society.

We can celebrate some of these leadership qualities, whether it is in the tech industry or defense contractors.

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, I think it is a good time to reflect on the important role that women play in the global economy and in leadership roles at listed companies.

Disclaimer: ProsperUs Investment Coach Billy Toh doesn’t own shares of any companies mentioned.

Billy Toh

Billy is deeply committed to making investment accessible and understandable to everyone, a principle that drives his engagement with the capital markets and his long-term investment strategies. He is currently the Head of Content & Investment Lead for Prosperus and a SGX Academy Trainer. His extensive experience spans roles as an economist at RHB Investment Bank, focusing on the Thailand and Philippines markets, and as a financial journalist at The Edge Malaysia. Additionally, his background includes valuable time spent in an asset management firm. Outside of finance, Billy enjoys meaningful conversations over coffee, keeps fit as a fitness enthusiast, and has a keen interest in technology.

Share this

Subscribe to our weekly
newsletter and stay updated!