red and green intersecting graph linesAccording to the Grant Thornton International Business Report, the advancement of women in senior management positions continues to grow within the G7 group of developed economies, but at a rate slower than in developing economies. Globally, 24 percent of senior management roles are filled by women, compared to 21 percent in developed economies. The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economies reported 28 percent of senior roles filled by women and Southeast Asia reported 32 percent. The U.S. ranks in the bottom eight countries at a rate of 20 percent.

“We continue to see some progress, though slow, among businesses to promote women to senior management roles,” said Erica O’Malley, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner of Diversity & Inclusion. “It’s imperative that businesses in developed economies emulate their emerging market counterparts and reap the benefits of having more women in senior positions.”

Even more stark, just 16 percent of board members are women in the G7 (and the U.S.) while the BRIC economies report a rate of 26 percent. Globally, 55 percent of businesses said they are against the idea of quotas defining the number of positions filled by women compared to 62 percent of businesses in the U.S.

“If we really want to move the needle when it comes to women in senior management roles, though quotas continue to be quite controversial, long-term goals for businesses could be a proven way to increase these numbers,” added O’Malley.

The report also found that the availability of flexible work scheduling is not indicated as a determining factor in advancing women in senior roles. Over 70 percent of G7 countries provide flexible working while better-performing China and BRIC economies offer it in only 27 percent and 40 percent of businesses, respectively.


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