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Philippines among those with most women in senior posts

Posted on March 09, 2016

THE PHILIPPINES has among the highest proportion of women in senior leadership roles in Asia Pacific and globally, according to results of a survey covering 36 developed and emerging economies.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Grant Thornton released a summary of results of new research showing that 38.99% of businesses in the Philippines have women in senior management positions, beating not just the figures across regions but also in developed economies.

It said that data for the survey were drawn from interviews with 5,520 chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives.

The global figure came out at 23.54%, which compares with 22.58% in Asia Pacific and 33.5% in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Ma. Victoria C. Españo, chairperson and chief executive of P&A Grant Thornton, said in a statement that the global trend of emerging economies outperforming developed counterparts when it comes to diversity in business leadership was pronounced in Asia and the Pacific.

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“The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia are among the world’s 10 best-performing nations when it comes to the occupation of senior business positions by women. In these nations, a well-established culture of women receiving further education and advocacy of the women in business cause has spurred change,” Ms. Españo noted.

Participation of women in top posts in Thailand and Indonesia registered at 37.09% and 36.22%, respectively.

Sought for Philippine details, P&A Grant Thornton said the country’s sample size was around 100 from real estate, construction, travel, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, transport, health care and consumer sectors. In the Philippines, survey respondents placed the number of people who in senior management at around 9.5, of which about 3.7 were women. The local survey was conducted in the last quarter of 2015 up to the first months of 2016. The Philippines was not included in previous surveys.

Worldwide, the Philippines was next only to Russia with 45.43%, up from 40% in 2015.

Ms. Españo said “progress in developed economies is simply not happening fast enough,” noting Japan as continuing to have the world’s lowest proportion of senior women in leadership roles. The figure for Japan came out at just 7.3%.

She also cited Australia, with 22.87%, indicating that the introduction of paid maternity five years ago did little to increase the proportion of female senior managers in that country.

The Grant Thornton survey showed the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries as among the worst-performers worldwide, recording only 21.91% of senor roles occupied by women. G7 -- consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom -- also showed 39% of companies had no women in senior roles.

Among regions, Eastern Europe posted the highest proportion of senior roles held by women at 34.9%, and just 16% of firms with no women in senior management.

“We know that businesses with diverse workforces can outperform their more homogenous peers and are better-positioned to adapt to a rapidly changing global business environment,” the statement quoted Ms. Españo as saying. -- V. V. Saulon