Percentage of women in management doubles across the world, but India lags: Credit Suisse report
The Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) recently released its third CS Gender 3000 report titled ‘The CS Gender 3000 in 2019: The changing face of companies’. The key highlight of the report is that the percentage of women on boards globally now stands at 20.6 percent, and has doubled in the last decade. It is a significant improvement from 2016 when it stood at 15.3 percent. The proportion of women in management has also risen to 17.6 percent from 13.8 percent in 2016.
The research studied the gender mix of 3,000 companies across 56 countries and comprising 30,000 executive positions. With comparative regional data available, it is evident that Asia Pacific (APAC) countries have seen the larger percentage of inclusion of women in management and board levels.
Takeaways for India
The key takeaway for India though, is that it significantly lags in the percentage of women in senior management roles. India ranks 23 out of 56 countries with 8.5 percent of women occupying senior roles. Even though the statistic has increased from 6.9 percent in 2016, India still occupies the third lowest spot among APAC followed by South Korea (4 percent) and Japan (3 percent).
When it comes to female CEO representation, India occupies the third lowest rank among APAC with 2 percent representation as well as the second lowest rank for female CFO representation with 1 percent.
Increase in boardroom diversity
The US and the APAC have seen women in management increase organically. The US (21 percent) and APAC (19 percent) reflect greater management diversity than witnessed in Europe (17 percent) despite the policy focus on boardroom quotas in many European countries.
In terms of female representation on boards, Europe tops the table with an average of 29.7 percent, driven by policies and initiatives seeking to address gender diversity and inclusivity on supervisory boards. North America has seen remarkable improvements without formal regulatory pressure with female board representation increasing from 17.3 percent in 2015 to now close to 24.7 percent.
The countries that have seen the biggest proportional increase in boardroom diversity in the last five years – between 9.4 and 12.8 percentage points – have been Malaysia, France, Australia, Germany, and Austria. Countries like Norway, France, Sweden and Italy have the largest representation as a result of quotas and formal targets set by governing authorities.
Growth in APAC
Asia Pacific countries have shown the biggest improvements in representation. Seven out of the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of women in management are APAC. Regionally, APAC has the highest number of female CEOs (5.6 percent) and CFOs (18.9 percent) ahead of North America and Europe. Singapore along with Italy ranks the highest in terms of female CEO representation globally with 15 percent, followed by Thailand (9 percent) and the Philippines (8 percent). In terms of female CFO representation, Thailand (42 percent), Malaysia (29 percent), and the Philippines (28 percent) hold the top three positions globally.
The researchers reflect that among policies that need addressing to enhance representation is the gender pay gap. They highlight that the Gender 3000 companies reflect that the lower the diversity, the higher the pay gap.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)