Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The More-John-Than-Women Phenomenon

John /dʒɒn/ is a masculine given name in the English language. The name is derived from the Latin Ioannes and Iohannes, which are forms of the Greek name Iōannēs (Ἰωάννης), originally borne by Hellenized Jews transliterating the Hebrew name Yohanan (יוֹחָנָן), "Graced by Yah", or Yehohanan (יְהוֹחָנָן), "Yahweh is Gracious". (literally via)

Among chief executives and chairs of FTSE 100 companies (Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation), there are 17 male bosses called John and seven female bosses (with different names). In other words, there are more men called John leading UK's largest companies than women. Men called David or Dave outnumber women by 2:1. In the boardroom, there are 17 Johns, 14 Davids and seven women. Ians and Marks outnumber women by about 5:1. The "More-John-Than-Women phenomenon" can be observed in the U.S., too. According to a report by Ernst & Young, for every woman there are 1.03 Johns, Jameses, Roberts, and Williams in the U.S. In Australia, Johns become Peters. More men called Peter hold the chief executive positions of companies in the ASX200 (Australia's 200 largest listed companies) than women (via).

Similarly, in the Austrian province of Upper Austria, there have been 42 male mayors called "Johann", 38 men called "Josef", 35 men called "Franz" ... and 33 women (via). Recent elections created a lot of discussion as there is currently not one single woman represented in the provincial government of Upper Austria turning Upper Austria into the only 'men only" Austrian provincial government (via).

There are 5.276.405 people in the U.S. with the forename John, and 203 with the surname Malkovich (via).

photographs of John Gavin Malkovich via and via and via and via


  1. Replies
    1. I call it unsettling.

    2. Amazing statistics. Thank you so much for commenting, Derek and Karen!

  2. I wonder what the ratio of John/Peter to Women there are collecting garbage, working oil rigs, digging graves...

    1. Interesting examples, that tells me a lot about you.

    2. Genius reply, Kenneth. Many thanks!! ;-)