Quick Take: Women in ManagementJul 30, 2018
The Percentage of Women in Senior Roles Is Declining Globally1
Women hold under a quarter (24%) of senior roles across the world in 2018, a decrease from 25% in 2017.2
- However, in 2018, 75% of businesses have at least one woman in senior management, compared to 66% in 2017.3
- On the other hand, 25% of global businesses have no women in senior management roles.4
The industries most lacking women among hires for leadership roles in 2017 include manufacturing, energy and mining, software and IT services, finance, real estate, corporate services, and legal.5
The “Glass Ceiling” Is Still an Invisible Barrier Preventing Women from Reaching the Top6
Men may still be viewed as default business leaders, affirming the “think manager, think male” mindset.7
- Senior managers often apply gender stereotypes to leadership—women “take care,” men “take charge.”8
In some instances, women face the “glass cliff,” in which they are appointed to leadership positions in times of economic crisis, limiting their chances of success.9
In Australia, Men Dominate Senior Levels of Management10
In 2016–2017, women represented just over a third (38.4%) of all managers in Australia.11
Women are less likely to reach the top levels of management. In 2016–2017, women accounted for:12
- 41.9% of other (i.e., non-senior) managers13
- 34.9% of senior managers
- 30.4% of other executives/general managers
- 29.7% of key management personnel14
- 16.5% of CEOs/Heads of Business
Nearly Half of Indian Women Leave the Workforce Between Junior and Middle Management Levels15
- In 2018, women hold only 20% of all senior roles in India.16
- In 2017, women held only 7% of senior management (CEO/Managing Director) roles.17
Japan Has Set Targets for Increasing Women in Leadership Positions by 202018
As of 2016, in private corporations, women accounted for:19
- 18.6% of section chiefs
- 10.3% of directors
In 2018, just 5% of senior roles were held by women.20
The Government Cabinet Is at Parity, but Businesses Are Not21
In Canada, women accounted for slightly more than a third (34.6%) of all managers, but only 28.9% of senior managers, in 2017.22
Women made up just 51 (9.4%) of the 540 C-level executives among Canada’s 100 largest publicly traded corporations in 2017.23
Eastern Europe Leads the World in Gender-Diverse Leadership24
According to Grant Thornton’s 2018 rankings, 87% of Eastern European businesses reported having at least one woman in senior management, and 36% of businesses’ senior roles are held by women.25
In the European Union, 73% of businesses reported having at least one woman in senior management and 27% of businesses’ senior roles are held by women.26
- France saw a three-year high of businesses with at least one senior woman at 79%, as well as a three-year high of businesses’ senior roles being held by women at 33%.27
- The United Kingdom reported their highest percentage of businesses with at least one woman in senior management at 75%, with 22% of businesses’ senior roles being held by women.28
Among the largest publicly listed companies in the European Union (EU-28) in 2017, only 15.8% of executives and 5.5% of CEOs were women.29
Women’s Representation in European Governments Declined in 201730
Since 2004, women’s representation has increased in parliaments (by about 0.6% per year) and among senior ministers in governments (by 0.5% per year). However, the share of women in parliaments and governments decreased in 2017 to 29.3% (in parliaments) and 27.7% (in governments).31
Among the EU-28 national parliaments in 2018, over a quarter of members of both the single or lower houses (30.0%) and the upper houses (28.9%) were women.32
There Are Fewer Women in Leadership Positions Than There Are Men Named John33
- White women held almost a third of all management positions at 32.5%, followed by Latinas at 4.1%, Black women at 3.8%, and Asian women at just 2.4%.36
- Women made up the highest share of managers in human resources (70.8%) occupations and social and community services (70.2%).37
The percentage of US businesses with at least one woman in senior management jumped from 69% in 2017 to 81% in 2018, but the percentage of senior roles held by women decreased from 23% to 21%.38
In S&P 500 Companies, the Higher Up the Corporate Ladder, the Fewer the Women39
Catalyst, Quick Take: Women on Corporate Boards.
Catalyst, Women CEOs of the S&P 500.
Julia Dawson, Richard Kersley, and Stefano Natella, The CS Gender 3000: The Reward for Change (Credit Suisse Research Institute, 2016).
Georges Desvaux, Sandrine Devillard, Eric Labaye, Sandra Sancier-Sultan, Cécile Kossoff, and Alix de Zelicourt, Women Matter: Time To Accelerate: Ten Years of Insights Into Gender Diversity (McKinsey & Company, October 2017).
International Labour Organization, Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum: Global Report (2015).
Mercer, When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive (2016).
Rachel Thomas, Marianne Cooper, Ellen Konar, Megan Rooney, Ashley Finch, Lareina Yee, Alexis Krivkovich, Irina Starikova, Kelsey Robinson, and Rachel Valentino, Women in the Workplace 2017 (McKinsey & Company and Lean In, 2017).
How to cite this product: Catalyst, Quick Take: Women in Management (July 30, 2018).
5. Till Leopold, Vesselina Stefanova Ratcheva and Saadia Zahidi, “5 Charts That Will Change How You See Women’s Equality in 2017,” World Economic Forum (November 2, 2017).
6. International Labour Organization, Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum: Global Report (2015): p. 11.
7. Isabel Cuadrado, Cristina Garcia-Ael, and Fernando Molero, “Gender-Typing of Leadership: Evaluations of Real and Ideal Managers,” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, vol. 56, no. 2 (2015): p. 236-244.
9. Giulia Ferrari, Valeria Ferraro, Paola Profeta, and Chiara Pronzato, “Do Board Gender Quotas Matter? Selection, Performance and Stock Market Effects,” (IZA Institute of Labor Economics, April 2018): p. 6.
13. Other managers “plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate an operational function within an individual entity. They usually oversee day-to-day operations, working within and enforcing defined company parameters. An ‘other manager’ is accountable for a defined business outcome which usually involves the management of resources that also includes time management, coordination of different functions or people, financial resources, and other assets (for example facilities or IT infrastructure). Line managers would be included in this category.” Australian Government, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Reference Guide 2018 (2018): p. 25.
14. Key management personnel (KMP) “have authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the individual entity, directly or indirectly, including any director (whether executive or otherwise) of that entity, in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards Board AASB124. The KMP is a manager who represents at least one of the major functions of the organisation and participates in organisation-wide decisions with the CEO.” Australian Government, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Reference Guide 2018 (2018): p. 24–25.
15. Sarika Malhotra, “50% Indian Women Drop Out of the Corporate Employment Pipeline Between Junior and Mid-Levels,” Business Today, October 5, 2016.
17. “India Ranks Third Lowest in Having Women in Leadership Roles for the Third Consecutive Year,” Grant Thornton press release, 2017.
19. These categories are standard ranks or equivalent positions in Japan. Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, “The Fourth Basic Plan for Gender Equality,” Women and Men in Japan 2018 (2018).
22. Statistics Canada, “Table 14-10-0297-01: Labour Force Characteristics by Occupation, Annual (x 1,000)” (2018).
29. European Institute for Gender Equality, “Largest Listed Companies: CEOs, Executives and Non-Executives,” Gender Statistics Database (2018).
30. European Commission, 2018 Report on Equality Between Women and Men in the EU (2018): p. 27.
31. European Commission, 2018 Report on Equality Between Women and Men in the EU (2018): p. 27-28.
33. Claire Cain Miller, Kevin Quealy, and Margot Sanger-Katz, “The Top Jobs Where Women Are Outnumbered by Men Named John,” The New York Times, April 24. 2018; Unpublished Catalyst research and analysis.
34. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Table 3: Employment Status of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population by Age, Sex, and Race, 2017,” Current Population Survey, Household Data Annual Averages (2018).
35. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Table 11: Employed Persons by Detailed Occupation, Sex, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, 2017,” Current Population Survey, Household Data Annual Averages (2018).
36. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Table 1: Employed and Experienced Unemployed Persons by Detailed Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, Annual Average 2017,” Current Population Survey (unpublished data) (2018).
37. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Table 11: Employed Persons by Detailed Occupation, Sex, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, 2017,” Current Population Survey, Household Data Annual Averages (2018).