Human Resource Executive’s Top 100 list of largest companies in 2005 contained the names of 31 female chief HR officers. This year's list shows 49. That's a 58-percent jump, folks, in women sitting at the tops of HR organizations. And that's almost 50 percent of those top 100 HR departments now being led by females. Clearly, the business world has woken up to the fact that talent matters more than gender when it comes to leading the HR function at the major institutions.
Also intriguing are the new and different faces this year from our Most Powerful Women in HR a decade ago. While many from that first list have retired, all have been on the move. In fact, the only two chief human resource officers to make both lists are heading up HR at different companies today -- Mirian Graddick-Weir, executive vice president of human resources for Merck & Co., formerly the HR chief at AT&T; and Kathleen S. (Katy) Barclay, senior vice president of human resources for The Kroger Co., formerly the head of HR for General Motors