Traditionally, the affair, ‘Women in leadership’ has been an elephant in the room (boardroom to be precise). With changing times, this is the only elephant organizations have started recognizing and discussing but number of women in executive positions has always been a matter of contention.
However, the year 2019 was a year of change and impact. 2019 sees the highest percentage of women in senior management on record.
According to a research by Grant Thornton International, 2019 marks the biggest increase in the proportion of women in executive roles around the world, rising five percentage points from 24 percent in 2018 to 29 percent in 2019.
In fact, here are some of the examples from the newsroom of People Matters where many women earned the seat at boardrooms or in most cases have been appointed to hold the reins of the company:
Citing the report by Grand Thorton’s Women in business 2019, it was found that Eastern Europe led the way with almost a third (32 percent) of senior management in the region made up of women outperforming the global figure by three percentage points. Conversely, Latin America has the lowest figure, with just 25 percent of senior managers being women; while failing to achieve significant movement in the middle ground are the EU, Asia Pacific (APAC) and North America, among others.
According to another report by CCL, it was found that men dominate Asian boards. Some countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia are ahead of the curve as compared to Indonesia and Philippines. Malaysia has a prescribed 30 percent quota for women leaders in organizations with more than 250 employees.
Another report titled "The CS Gender 3000 in 2019: The changing face of companies" found the percentage of women on boards globally in 2019 stood at 20.6 percent. This has broadly doubled since the start of the decade and risen from around 15.3 percent since the last report in 2016.
Meanwhile, Europe leads the regional table with an average of 29.7 percent, driven by the greatest tailwind of policies and initiatives seeking to address gender diversity within supervisory boards.
The countries with the largest representation include those where quotas or less formal targets exist, such as Norway, France, Sweden, and Italy. The countries that have seen the biggest proportional increase in boardroom diversity in the last five years – of between 9.4 and 12.8 percentage points – have been Malaysia, France, Australia, Germany, and Austria.
When it comes to the APAC region, with 15 percent of female CEOs, Singapore ranked the highest in terms of female CEO representation globally, followed by Thailand (9 percent) and the Philippines (8 percent). APAC countries are also globally leading in terms of female CFO representation, with Thailand (42 percent), Malaysia (29 percent) and the Philippines (28 percent) holding the top three positions.
In totality, Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) has seen a small upward trend in gender diversity in the boardroom, rising to 14.4 percent in 2019 from 11.6 percent in 2015.
When it comes to effort to get more women in senior roles, organizations are rolling out different initiatives like returnship program, mentoring programs, incorporating a more diverse hiring and succession planning policy, etc. Besides this, number of companies like Adobe, Phillip Morris claims to achieve the gender pay parity which further contributes to empowering women at all the levels.