THE Philippines has topped the list of 32 countries in a global survey on the role of women in senior management.
The Grant Thornton International’s 2020 Women in Business Report showed that 43% of female Filipino executives were in a senior leadership role.
Filipina executives in senior management rose six percentage points from 37% in the 2019 survey, which in turn fell 10 percentage points from 47% in the 2018 report.
Globally, 29% of women in executive roles were in senior management in the 2020 survey.
The Philippines was followed by South Africa with 40% and Poland with 38%. Among other Southeast Asian countries surveyed, Indonesia ranked fifth (37%), Thailand ranked 10th (34%), Malaysia and Vietnam ranked 11th and 12th with 33%. Singapore came out 17th (31%).
The study had a global sample size of 4,812 businesses, with 105 in the Philippines.
“We are seeing that the most significant roles in business operations — strategy, finance, and people — are being held by women. The percentages have decreased this year, and it is interesting to note that women are holding these same three roles,” P&A Grant Thornton Chairperson and CEO Marivic Españo said in a statement.
“We hope to see more women step up into the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Managing Director role in the future.”
Broken down, 38% of Filipino women are chief finance officers, followed by 36% that are human resources directors. Following this, 23% are chief operating officers, and 22% are chief executive officers, and 19% are sales directors.
The survey found that 94% of Filipino businesses are actively working on reducing barriers to gender parity at leadership levels.
To promote gender balance in leadership teams, 36% of Philippine businesses said they ensure equal access to developmental work opportunities. Among other measures, 33% provide mentoring and coaching as well as enable flexible work while 30% link senior management rewards to progress on gender balance targets and 26% set targets for gender balance in leadership.
Only 23% offer unconscious bias training, and six percent take no actions to improve gender balance.
P&A Grant Thornton is the Philippine member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. — Jenina P. Ibañez
As published in BusinessWorld, dated 24 February 2020