Women in Senior Management


A research from Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) in 2012 which analysed trends in private companies in 40 different countries in the world points out that the global average of women in senior management is 21%. Having a closer look at the development of women holding senior management positions the current rate rose by 3% compared to 2004 but in contrast is still 3% lower than in 2007 and 2009. However, the rate increased by 1% from the previous year to 2012.

While the global average stays around 20% the different regional averages are in the range of 18% to 32%. South East Asia (ASEAN) possesses the highest level of 32%, followed by the EU with 24%, Latin America with 22% and North America with only 18% which is 3% below the global average in 2012.

Across the world, Russia has the greatest percentage of 46% of women in senior management. This is followed by Botswana, the Philippines and Thailand which manifest a level of 39%. The countries with the lowest percentage are Germany, India and Japan where less than 15% of leading positions are occupied by women.

Many politicians, especially in Europe, want their economy to adapt to the international market. For this reason politic tries to implement quotas on the number of women in senior management whereas economics reject governmental influence on human resource politics. Companies want to keep free choice of qualified employees.

Many companies already established intra-corporate quotas of women. The largest telecommunications company in Europe, Telekom, for instance, wants to reach a level of 30% in middle and upper management until 2015. Moreover, Lufthansa, the world’s fourth-largest airline, organises projects that facilitate women to advance in their jobs by offering for example flexible working hours or job-sharing.







6 thoughts on “Women in Senior Management

  1. In my opinion it is good that there exists this trend to achieve a higher number of women in top managament positions. It is important to create an equality not only in terms of jobs. But the thing i still do not understand is why there are all those discussions about gender diversity. I mean, should’nt it be ‘normal’ that also women can be in top management positions? We are in 2012 and i think it is time to stop discussions and to start doing it! A company should not be a great company because of a high number of women in top performance positions, this should be self-evident! I think we should focus again on success in terms of economy.

  2. The women in the labor market have existed for a long period of history. Working
    situation is different in systems change slowly and are approaching the European view on this issue. For example, in Slovenia is on the boards of 15.3 percent of women, which is higher than the European average.
    As Viviane Reding said: “The lack of women in senior positions in business detrimental to European competitiveness and hampers economic growth.” I agree with this overall.
    My opinion is that when women have access to leadership positions, it encourages them to enter the labor market and stay there, which means increasing women’s employment and better use of their skills. I think that more women in decision-making Europe more competitive.

  3. From my point of view it should be clear for the companies that they can benefit from women, because they are looking on things from different points of view comparing to men and that is what a company needs in order to be present in not only one area.
    The debate about implementing a quota on the number of women in senior management positions is discussed nearly everywhere at the moment. Do we really need a quota for women?
    To my mind it is not sure if such a quota brings the desired outcome. Of course when it becomes a law, the rate of women will increase to the required number but with the help of this the working atmosphere will decrease. In my opinion it is clear that men will not be amused that they are only able to get a higher position if they are more qualified than women and with equal qualification they have no chance. It is frustrating.
    But it needs to be mentioned that it was the opposite way around or even worse the last decades, because those days women had no chance to get a top management position because they were women. It is difficult to decide which action would be fair and which not. From my point of view mistakes according to the equality of men and women had been made since ever, but with the help of a quota for women we are on the best way to the next mistake.

  4. For me, it’s very sad that women who have the proper education are still relegated to lower level positions rather than benefiting themselves and the companies with their knowledge and skills which they gained through their education. It is positive to see that there is a general trend towards including more women in the senior management but I also do not believe that it is correct to start with quatos for women because then a women is not solely choosen because of her skills but more on the reason that the company needs a female employee to meet the quota. Thus, we do not speak about equality anymore. From my point of view, companies must start to evaluate women on their education and not on their gender. For me, a woman’s place is wherever she chooses.

  5. If women have a equivalent skills then there is no reason why they couldn’t be in senior management. It is absolutely unacceptable that women are not allowed to develop because they are women.
    Latvian women’s employment status in the senior management is better than in other countries worldwide – the proportion of women among senior management is 25.9%, second highest in the EU.
    There is no considerable disproportion between men and women at the senior management. There is a tendency that women are directors of companies belonging to them instead of serving on boardrooms of large domestic or international companies. Analysis of sample of over 100 largest companies indicates that only ¼ of senior managers are women.


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