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Women in business: building a blueprint for action

Stacey Davies Stacey Davies

Globally, the percentage of businesses with at least one woman in senior management has risen to 87%, an increase of 12% in the last year, according to our latest Women in Business research from Grant Thornton International.

Overall, women now hold 29% of senior leadership positions globally. While this is only up 10% over the past 15 years of research, half this increase (5%) has been achieved in the last 12 months alone.

These figures demonstrate that gender parity is making its way to the top of the agenda for a lot of businesses.

Increasing organisational transparency, gender pay gap reporting and highly visible public dialogue like the #MeToo movement appear to be creating more awareness among businesses about the positive change that is needed. 

While the number of women in senior leadership is increasing, gender parity at the head of the table is still a significant way off. When it comes to the role of CEO or managing director, only 15% of businesses globally have a woman leading the business.

Although change at senior leadership levels has been slow until now, hopefully the sharp increase of women in senior leadership this year is not purely a quick fix in response to the current social climate; it will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of a trend that will maintain an upward trajectory going forward.

To achieve this, and to begin creating truly inclusive cultures, more deliberate action should to be taken and this needs to start at the top. Download the report to find out more.