One of the primary disadvantages of being a CEO of a company is that the CEO is most vulnerable to pressure and criticism when decisions go bad. The CEO has the stress of stepping out into the dominant leadership role in a business.
The pressure on a CEO is amplified when a company is or becomes public. When public shareholders own a business, the decisions and leadership of the CEO are often discussed by media and analysts. When a company doesn't perform well, the CEO becomes a primary target for media scrutiny and shareholder complaints. In some cases, the CEO of a public company may even be exposed to possible lawsuits based on financial results or stock investing tactics in the business.
As of November 2014, women make up only 5.2 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions. Since female CEOs are a relatively new concept, women face additional challenges compared to male counterparts. In some cases, women CEOs feel they have to work longer and harder to establish leadership credibility and to get internal and external stakeholders to buy in to their expertise. At times, women CEOs have to communicate effectively to get employees and media members to concentrate on the company brand and products rather than on the CEO's unique position.