The good news: in the world, Thailand has the highest percentage of women in senior management.
In its quarterly survey of privately-held businesses, accounting and consultancy giant Grant Thornton puts Thailand at the top of its table covering 11,000 businesses across 39 economies.
Thailand lead with 45 per cent of senior management posts held by women. Second is Georgia (40 per cent), followed by Russia (36), and Hong Kong and the Philippines (both 35).
At the other end of the table are India, the United Arab Emirates and Japan, where less than 10 per cent of senior management positions are held by women.
April Mackenzie, Grant Thornton’s global head of public policy and external affairs commented “It is disappointing to see that the global proportion of women in senior management has shown no sign of growth, reverting instead to near-2004 levels.
“Female executives appear to be bearing the brunt of the global economic downturn, however, many businesses are now feeling the pressure to review their policies, especially in light of recent government and media inquiries into the male dominance of boardrooms.
“Some businesses will need to examine their levels of support offered to women to fall in line with quotas on female board representation, a solution currently under discussion in some countries. Others, especially in some emerging markets, are already ahead of the competition.”
The data revealed that the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) lag behind the global average with only 16 per cent of women holding senior roles while the Asia Pacific region, with the stark exception of Japan, scores highest with an average of 27 per cent.
In most countries women still have problems reaching the very pinnacle of companies, the survey shows. Globally, just eight per cent of companies have a female chief executive officer. Women are more likely to occupy posts one rank below – 22 per cent are employed in financial positions at director level, 20 per cent as human resources directors, and nine per cent as chief marketing officers or sales director.
Once again, however, Thailand leads the way with 30 per cent of companies employing female CEOs, followed by China (19 per cent), Taiwan (18) and Vietnam (16).