Women in Business 2022

Greg Keith
insight featured image
In 2022, Grant Thornton’s Women in Business research has once again tracked the position of women in senior management across the world, and the progress towards gender parity in leadership.

In this year’s data, we see mid-market businesses across the world taking decisive action to create more flexible working practices around the needs of their people. The research shows businesses are prioritising employee engagement and modelling open, inclusive working environments, and as a result, organisations are opening the door to bring female talent into senior positions in greater numbers than ever before.

Grant Thornton’s International Business Report research reveals that 57 per cent of mid-market organisations expect talent shortages to be a major constraint to their businesses over the next 12 months.

A specific focus on opening up opportunities for women to move into senior roles through more flexible working practices will be a major way for businesses to tackle the talent shortage. Our 2022 Women in Business report explores the ways in which organisations can open the door for more diverse people – and empower them to step through to future success.

Female talent is an essential resource and vital to good business outcomes, as well as fundamental to bridging the skills gap. Forward-looking organisations are already collaborating with employees to remodel working setups in order to allow all candidates the opportunity to achieve equity in seniority.

This year’s report has shown how deliberate, continued action by businesses has resulted in an increase in the proportion of women in senior management around the globe. Women now hold 32% of top leadership positions, up from 31% in 2021. In the last decade, we have seen the proportion of female leaders grow by 11 percentage points, up from 21% in 2012.

Across the 5,000 business leaders in 29 countries surveyed by Grant Thornton, 90% record their business as having at least one woman in the C-suite or equivalent. Regionally, there has also been positive progress, with every area we report on equalling or passing 30% of senior roles held by women.

Australian findings:

  • More than 79 per cent of Australian businesses are using new ways of working to create a more inclusive environment to attract and retain female talent.
  • At 57 per cent, over half of Australia’s business leaders agree they have seen external pressure increase from stakeholders – including customers, regulators, suppliers and investors – on their organisation to achieve and maintain gender balance as a result of COVID-19.
  • As new ways of working become the norm, 75 per cent of Australian respondents expect the impact of COVID-19 will continue to benefit women’s career trajectories long-term.
  • The number of women in senior management positions in Australia continues to sit at 32 per cent in 2022, the same as in 2021. This figure has grown by only ten percentage points in Australia over the past eight years, showing that while progress is being made, it is at a sluggish rate.
Women in Business Report 2022
Women in Business Report 2022
Read this article