Annual global survey finds senior business roles held by women up slightly to 24%


*One in three businesses worldwide (33%) has no women in leadership positions

*G7 economies trail emerging peers in Eastern Europe and ASEAN on women in business leadership

*Countries with highest proportions of senior roles held by women are Russia (45%), Philippines (39%) and Lithuania (39%); lowest proportions in Japan (7%), Germany (15%) and India (16%)

On International Women’s Day, a new report based on the annual Grant Thornton survey of 5,520 businesses in 36 economies reveals a slight uptick of women in senior management positions from 22% to 24%, but a third of businesses still do not have women in leadership positions.

The G7 is among the worst performing regions, with just 22% of senior roles occupied by women and 39% of companies with no women in senior roles. Two of the poorest performing individual countries are Japan, with just 7% senior roles held by women, and Germany, with 15%.

Meanwhile Eastern Europe and ASEAN report the highest proportions of women in leadership at 35% and 34% respectively, and just 16% and 21% of firms with no women in senior management respectively. Russia tops the list of individual countries with 45% of senior roles held by women, followed by the Philippines at 39%, where only 9% businesses have no women in senior management.

“Companies across developed nations have talked the talk on diversity in leadership for long enough,” said Francesca Lagerberg, Grant Thornton International Global leader – tax services. “It’s time to put their promises into practice and deliver results. We know that businesses with diverse workforces can outperform their more homogenous peers and are better positioned to adapt to a rapidly changing global business environment.”