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Last updated: 14 March 2024

Women in Top Leadership Positions

Females in Top Leadership Positions Around the World

The topic of gender equality in leadership roles such as C-suite positions (CEO, CFO, COO etc.) and board-level involvement is important, and many efforts have been made to progress in this area. Here at Market Inspector we created a map showcasing the percentage of female board members of companies around the world, as well as the gender diversity in management positions.

Methodology & Scope

The data was gathered from the Credit Suisse Gender 3000 report, which was published in 2016. The map illustrates the compiled data from two tables in the report: the percentage of female board members, and the gender diversity in management positions in companies around the world.

In addition to the map, we created an informative video to further delineate the landscape of gender equality in the workplace around the world. Data from the Credit Suisse Gender 3000 report was used, as well as the Davies Report in the UK to highlight the local situation.

The percentage of female board members around the world highlights how many women are in top leadership positions. Research shows that there is a correlation between gender diversity at the board level and an increase in women in management positions, thus this type of data is highly relevant in terms of gender equality in the workforce. The discrepancies in pay can range from 4 percent to 45 45 percent between men and women, regardless of the role.

The map is colour coded according to the percentage of female board members:

redorangeyellowlight greengreen

If you would like to use this map on your website, use the embed code below:

The higher the percentage, the greater the amount of female board members. Moreover, the map shows the figures for both 2013 and 2015 to demonstrate the trend in the respective country.

Percentage of Female Board Members

Only Norway is in the green bracket, with 46.7% of female board members in companies in 2015, which is close to 50-50 equality. France, Sweden, and Italy are in the next bracket group, with 34%, 33.6%, and 30.8% respectively in 2015. All four countries have experienced a positive trend since 2013, as all have seen an increase of females on boards.

The United Kingdom is in the yellow percentage bracket together with Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and Australia. The Davies Report in the UK aims to have at least 33% of females on the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) boards by 2020. The FTSE 100 is a share index of the 100 companies on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

In 2016 there were still only seven female bosses out of the 100 companies on the LSE. The FTSE 100 boards have seen an increase of female presence, with 26% in 2016. The FTSE 250 boards had 20.4% of women. Five of the FTSE 250 companies have 50% of females on their boards. While this is a positive trend, the progress has slowed since 2015.

Apparently, European countries dominate the top brackets with most females in top leadership positions. Latin American and Asian countries can be found in the two bottom brackets, with Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan in the last three places with 4.5%, 4.1%, and 3.5% respectively.

Gender Diversity in Management Positions

In addition, the map states what the gender diversity is in management positions across the globe. Management positions cover C-suite and board-level positions as well as lower-level management positions, thus encompassing more than the percentage of women board members.

Globally, the amount of females in senior positions has risen a meagre 3% in five years to stand at 24% in 2016. However, 33% of all companies globally still do not have any women in senior management roles. This means that the high number of businesses do not have a female perspective and cannot leverage female input in executive decisions.

Only 3.9% of CEOs analysed by the Credit Suisse report are women.

Women in Top Leadership Positions Around the World

If you would like to use this video on your website, use the embed code below:

Pay Gap

In the EU, the largest differences in salaries observed in 2015 were in Estonia with a gap of 26.9%, the Czech Republic with 22.5%, Germany with 22%, Austria with 21.7%, and the United Kingdom with 20.8%.It is believed that the pay gap is caused largely by women not aiming for roles that offer higher salaries like STEM jobs. The position with the largest gap in hourly earnings is managers. Female managers earn 23% less than men do, on average. The profession with the smallest differences are clerical support workers, and service & sales workers.

Gender Diversity in the UK

The UK government implemented reporting regulations in April 2017, which demands that businesses with more than 250 employees disclose the extent of the gender pay gap. By mid-September 2017, only 77 of the 7,850 companies abided by the regulations. The broader image in the UK is also worsening: the pay gap between female and male managers is becoming bigger with women earning £12,000 less on average than their male colleagues.

Gender Diversity By Industry

The consumer staples is the industry with the most diverse leadership demographic, and has taken the lead for a number of years. Consumer staples covers essential items such as foods, beverages, household items, and tobacco. The telecommunications industry has caught up to second place in recent years, followed by the finance industry. The industry with the least gender diversity is materials.

Corporate Leadership Horizon

Even though the numbers currently show a huge difference in the women and men leadership ratio, a trend of gradual increase in women inclusion in top leadership positions is apparent. That may serve as a promise that in the near future, more women will be part of making corporate decisions, bringing new views to the table together with fresh perspectives on opportunities for firms' growth.

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