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Women in business 2012

Still not enough

Women in business report 2012

The past 12 months have seen women take the lead in some of the toughest economic and political environments, and they also head governments in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Thailand.

However, the International Business Report 2012 survey shows that just 21% of senior management roles are held by women globally, a figure which has barely moved over the past decade. Moreover, just 9% of businesses have a female CEO. This short report explores why this issue matters, the current state of play and what is being done about it.

The data from emerging markets is a particular concern. Traditionally, these economies have employed a high percentage of women in top jobs. However, women in Latin America now hold just 22% of senior roles, down from 28% in 2009. In Asia Pacific, this figure dropped from 25% to 19% during this period.


Other key findings from the report

  • Businesses in Russia, followed by Botswana, the Philippines and Thailand have the most women in senior management roles: those in Germany, India and Japan have the fewest
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 businesses has a female CEO, with women leaders mainly employed in finance and human resources
  • There is no clear correlation between either flexible working practices or female economic prospects


Further information

  • Read the global press release
  • Read more about Grant Thornton’s promotion of women’s leadership on the International Women’s Day site
  • Read comment from Francesca Lagerberg on the importance of diversity in decision-making 
  • Access the data by country and region since 2004 using our data viz tool
  • Contact the global research team