Global survey finds 1 in 4 senior business roles now held by women, but pace of change is glacial

  • Senior roles held by women increased 1% from 2016, but up only 6%
    since start of research 13 years ago
  • Percentage of businesses with no women in senior management rose from
    33% to 34%
  • Countries with highest proportion of senior roles held by women:
    Russia (47%), Indonesia (46%), Estonia (40%), Poland (40%) and
    Philippines (40%)
  • Countries with lowest proportion of senior roles held by women: Japan
    (7%), Argentina (15%), India (17%), Germany (18%), Brazil (19%) and
    United Kingdom (19%)

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On International Women’s Day, a new report based on Grant Thornton’s
annual survey of 5,500 businesses in 36 economies reveals the global
proportion of senior business roles held by women has hit a high of 25%.
However, the figure is an increase of just one percent from 2016, and
has only improved six percent in the 13 years since the research began.

In addition, the percentage of businesses globally with no women in
senior management has also risen, from 33% in 2016 to 34% in 2017.

Francesca Lagerberg, global leader for tax services at Grant Thornton
International Ltd, said: “This year, businesses have reached a
milestone, with a quarter of senior roles held by women for the first
time. But this is a marginal improvement and we’re still only halfway
there. Despite evidence linking diversity and improved business
performance, the global dial is shifting at a painfully slow rate. This
is a real concern for business growth as it suggests we aren’t
maximising the potential out there.”

Countries with the highest proportion of senior roles held by women are
Russia (47%), Indonesia (46%), Estonia (40%), Poland (40%) and
Philippines (40%). The countries with the lowest are Japan (7%),
Argentina (15%), India (17%), Germany (18%), Brazil (19%) and the United
Kingdom (19%).

While the most common senior roles for women are still Human Resources
Director (23%) and Chief Financial Officer (19%), Chief Executive
Officer / Managing Director is now third at 12% in 2017, up from 9% in
2016.

Grant Thornton’s report also explores the role of gender when it comes
to spotting and managing risks. To obtain a copy, go to www.grantthornton.global/womeninbusiness2017.

Contacts

Grant Thornton
John Vita
312-602-8955
John.vita@gti.gt.com