Number of women in senior management steadily rising: Report

The number of women in senior management positions is witnessing a steady growth across the world, according to assurance, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton.

The Grant Thornton's International Business Report (IBR) said that globally more women are making it to senior management roles than at any time since 2010.

Globally, 24 per cent of senior management roles are currently filled by women, up from 21 per cent in 2012 and this momentum is also witnessed in India, where the number of women in senior management has gone up marginally to 19 per cent in 2013 from 14 per cent in 2012.

A further analysis shows that the G7 economies come bottom of the league table with just 21 per cent of senior roles occupied by women. This compares to 28 per cent in the BRIC economies, 32 per cent in South East Asia and 40 per cent in the Baltic states.

Interestingly, flexible working, does not appear to be a determining factor in getting women into top positions. As many as 72 per cent of businesses in the poor performing G7 countries provide flexible working, while in case of China it is only 27 per cent and for BRIC economies (40 per cent).

"A large proportion of Indian firms surveyed have clear plans of recruiting/ promoting women to senior positions. The reasons range from balanced decision-making, unique approach and skill sets that they bring to the table and an exponential rise in the number of truly deserving women," Grant Thornton in India Director Nidhi Maheshwari said.

Globally only 15 per cent of companies have plans to hire/promote more women into senior management over the next 12 months. In India, there is a significant emphasis with 42 per cent companies planning the same.

Moreover, 55 per cent of businesses worldwide said they would be against the idea of quotas for the number of women on executive boards of large listed companies.

The report further said that globally 35 per cent of employees are women, however, in India the proportion is significantly low at 15 per cent. Moreover, 49 per cent of Indian businesses currently offer flexible working options to women at the work place, as opposed to a global average of 67 per cent.

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