Changes at the CEO level are being made at the highest rate in 16 years, but fewer women are taking the top executive’s chair and more companies are hiring outsiders to run the shop, says a new survey from PwC’s Strategy&.

Last year, 17 percent of the top 2,500 public companies chose new chief executive officers. That’s the highest percentage in the 16 years of PricewaterhouseCoopers; Strategy& “CEO Success Study.”

But all the churn didn’t open more opportunities for women.

Only 3 percent of the top firms had women CEOs. That’s the lowest percentage since 2011, PwC reports.

All the changes also have not led to greater opportunities for outsiders. PwC notes that going “outside” for succession was up to 22 percent over the years 2012-2015 vs. just 14 percent a decade earlier.

The trend is “an indication that hiring an outsider has become more of an intentional leadership choice than a necessity,” PwC’s report says.

The outsiders are delivering results, the study found, thus bolstering the trend.

“Outsider CEOs have caught up and closed a performance gap that the study previously found between outsider and insider CEOs, possibly strengthening the case for considering a new leader from outside the company,” PwC says.

Concludes PwC partner Per-Ola Karlsson:

“Hiring an executive from outside a company to serve as chief executive officer used to be seen as a last resort. That is not the case anymore with the disruptive market-related changes that companies are facing today. While an internal CEO candidate may have an excellent record of achieving the business goals the company has pursued in the past, boards are recognizing that this candidate may lack the skills needed to lead the company through the changes necessary to win in the future.”

Glass ceiling back?

“Just 10 of 359 incoming CEOs in the class of 2015 were women,” PwC reports.

If you are a believer in diversity, the news about women CEOs is actually worse in the U.S. and Canada.

“[T]he share of incoming women CEOs fell for the third year to the lowest in the study’s history,” PwC found.

“Surprisingly, there was just one woman among the total 87 incoming CEOs in the U.S. and Canada last year (1 percent, compared to 4 percent in 2014 and over 7 percent in 2012).

Of those CEOs, 32 percent were “outsiders” vs. 23 percent for men.

What’s going on?

“That women CEOs are more often hired from the outside may be an indication that companies have not been cultivating enough female senior executives in-house,” said DeAnne Aguirre​, who is an  advisor to executives on talent and culture with Strategy& and a principal with PwC U.S. “One of the reasons why women may be more likely to be outsiders is that their development is not being recognized within their own organization, and therefore they may be more likely to be attracted away. The fact that more companies are considering outsiders might improve the chances for women CEOs in the future.”

More Facts on the Rise of Outsider CEOs:

2015 CEO Success Study:​.