International Women's Day 2013

With 8 March marking International Women’s Day 2013, new research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) reveals that globally, more women are making it into senior management roles than at any time since 2010.

24% of senior management roles are now filled by women. This is up from 21% in 2012 and 20% in 2011. The IBR also reveals the routes most and least likely to see women make it into the boardroom and to the top of the professional ladder.

Best globally
According to the IBR, the most likely route to the top for women is the Chief Finance Officer of a healthcare company in China.

  1. Of businesses with women in senior management positions, the boardroom position most filled by women is Chief Finance Officer (31%). 
  2. The sector with the highest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women is healthcare (45%).
  3. The country with the highest proportion of senior management roles filled by women China (51%).

Australia's best 

  1. Of businesses with women in senior management positions, the Australian boardroom position most filled by women is CFO and Human Resources Director. Female representation in these roles are way out ahead at 23.8
  2. Mirroring the global result, the sector with the highest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women is Healthcare (45.2% of senior management positions held by women), followed by Education and social services (44.3%)

Worst globally 
In contrast, the research reveals that the route to the top least likely to be taken by women is the Chief Information Officer of a mining or construction company in Japan.

  1. Of businesses with women in senior management positions, the boardroom position least filled by women is Chief Information Officer (6%). 
  2. The sectors with the lowest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women are construction and mining (each 19%). 
  3. The country with the lowest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women is Japan (7%).

Australia's worst

  1. Of businesses with women in senior management positions, the Australian boardroom position least filled by women is Chief Information Officer (1%). 
  2. The Australian sectors with the lowest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women are construction, manufacturing and mining (each 19%).

Nicole Bradley, Head of Diversity at Grant Thornton Australia, commented: “In the week we celebrate International Women’s Day, the research also highlights a serious issue in many countries where progress for women is painfully slow. In some countries, the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against women breaking through the glass ceiling and enjoying top jobs. This will have profound implications for businesses, whose senior teams are lacking a balance and diversity needed to drive sustained growth.”

The IBR also reveals that thee proportion of women in senior positions is markedly different across different sectors. Over double the number of positions in the global healthcare sector are occupied by women (45%) than in construction or mining (19%).

Nicole Bradley added: “It may not be surprising to see more women succeeding in healthcare than in sectors like construction or mining, where traditionally fewer women work. But being a woman in a top job should be about more than just strength in numbers. Women should be awarded on merit, and even if the route to the top is tougher in certain sectors and regions than others, all businesses can benefit from greater diversity in top positions.”

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For more information, please contact:

Helina Lilley
National Public Relations Manager
+61 2 8297 2421
0437 725 520
E helina.lilley@au.gt.com

Notes to editors
The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of more than 12,500 businesses per year across 44 economies. This unique survey draws upon 21 years of trend data for most European participants and 10 years for many non-European economies. For more information, please visit: www.internationalbusinessreport.com

Data collection
Data collection is managed by Grant Thornton International's core research partner -Experian. Questionnaires are translated into local languages with each participating country having the option to ask a small number of country specific questions in addition to the core questionnaire. Fieldwork is undertaken on a quarterly basis. The research is carried out primarily by telephone.

Sample
IBR is a survey of both listed and privately held businesses. The data for this release are drawn from interviews with 6,627 businesses from all industry sectors across the globe conducted between November 2012 and January 2013. The target respondents are chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives.