Brendan Weber

Bay Area CEO Is Only Woman on Forbes' ‘Most Innovative Leaders' List

A Forbes list naming the 100 most innovative leaders in America has sparked an uproar for featuring just one woman.

Barbara Rentler, the only woman named on the list, leads Dublin-based Ross Stores. She is known for growing the discount retailer's revenues to four-times the worth of Macy's as of 2017.

The editor of Forbes said their lists are not based on opinions. The lists are driven by data and methodology, but that methodology was flawed.

As soon as Forbes posted the list Saturday, people starting commenting about the lack of women, penning tweets such as "You know Women follow you right" and "Forbes is woman-blind."

In order to be considered for the list, leaders have to be the chief operating officer or founder of their company and lead a public company worth $10 billion or more, according to Forbes. Their ranking also considers their quantitative reputation, social capital and publicly-traded track record.

Forbes said that methodology turned out to be flawed.

"This pool ultimately proved the problem: women, as we all know, are poorly represented at the top of the largest corporations (just 5% of the S&P 500) and fare even worse among growing public tech companies," Randall Lane, editor of Forbes, said in a statement. "In other words, for all our carefully-calibrated methodology, women never had much of a chance here."

Lane also said Forbes should have used the opportunity to talk about the challenges women face in making it to CEO and that they should have broadened who was eligible to make the list.

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