How are women doing in gaining access to senior leadership roles?
by Barbara Beane
Date published: April 27, 2016
March celebrates Women’s History Month in the United States. March 8, 2016 is International Women’s Day. As we celebrate women’s lives and work, how are they doing in gaining access to the positions of power and decision-making? What criteria might we use to judge? Here’s some statistics to sharpen your thinking!
United States businesses making little progress in advancing women
- Women have increased their participation in senior management roles by only 1% during the past 10 years
- Women occupy only 21% of senior business roles, a decrease from the previous year (22%) and a minute increase of just 1 percent from 2004 (20%)
- Women hold only 6% of chief executive officer roles
Women in senior management roles in other countries
- Russia has the highest percentage of women in senior business roles in the world at 40%
- Next top five countries are: Georgia (38 %), Poland (37 %), Latvia (%), Estonia (35 %) and Lithuania (33 %) —all in Eastern Europe
- 26 % of senior roles in the European Union are now occupied by women — an all-time high
- Women in Latin America hold only 18% of senior management positions— an all-time low
- India and Brazil have 15% women in their senior management roles while Germany has 14%
- Japan remains at the bottom of the list with just 8% of senior roles held by women
- Globally, 22% of senior roles are held by women — a 3% increase from 2004 (19%), but down from 24% last year, indicating broad stagnation
Where are women leaders working—mostly—in the United States?
- 44% of female senior business leaders serve in a human resources capacity
- 20% serve a as corporate controller
- 19% serve as a chief marketing officer
“The lack of significant progress during the past decade for U.S. women in senior management is disappointing. Companies have been talking the talk on gender equality for decades, but still too few are walking the walk,” said Erica O’Malley, Grant Thornton LLP’s national managing partner of Diversity & Inclusion. “U.S. businesses must take steps now to eradicate gender bias and shift expectations around the role of women, which have contributed to success in other economies when it comes to advancing women.”
Source: Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) (2015), a survey of more than 5,400 business leaders in 36 economies.
Read all the November Diversity Statistics on How are Urban Native Americans Doing? here.