International Business Report (IBR)

Women in business: New perspectives on risk and reward

The Grant Thornton 2017 Women in Business Report reveals that businesses around the world have taken one step forward and one step back when it comes to women occupying senior roles.

Globally, one in four senior roles are now held by a woman, which is an increase from last year and the highest level since 2004 when the survey began. More women also now occupy CEO positions. But the proportion of businesses with no women in senior management has also risen.

Malaysia has the lowest proportion of senior business roles held by women in ASEAN. 24% of senior business roles are held by women in 2017, down from 26% last year and 34% of businesses have no women in senior management, up from 31% last year. 

In 2017, new global conditions of risk are high on the business agenda. Our research shows that when it comes to perceptions of risks and how to deal with them, men and women view things through different lenses, which provides a diversity of thinking when combined together. Companies should seize on these differences and use diversity to make better assessments and better decisions at a senior level. The more than a third of companies who do not have any women in senior positions can be considered short-sighted when it comes to risk.

Our new report, the 13th annual Women in Business report, makes recommendations for leaders to adopt gender diversity as a way to strengthen risk management in their business.