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Women in Business 2023

Global report tracks PH women’s increasing role in the workplace

Grant Thornton’s 2023 Women in Business (WIB) report shows that while post-pandemic changes in work practices have contributed to the increase in the number of women holding senior management roles in mid-market firms, there’s still a lot to be done to address gender disparity in the workplace.

The report, which tallied results of a survey of more than 100 mid-market companies in the Philippines across various industries that specialize in different lines of business, shows that nearly half or 49 percent of senior management roles are held by women, higher than 39 percent recorded in the 2022 WIB report.

Pandemic-related shifts in organizations’ work models were seen to have been beneficial for women leaders. More than half of mid-market firms surveyed said that their organizations have been utilizing a hybrid work model post-COVID, with 52 percent agreeing that their current work framework will help ensure visibility for more women staff.

“During the pandemic, we have seen the versatility of women in a phenomenon that experts called the ‘double shift’, where female staff juggled office work alongside their essential roles at home. It is interesting to see that more businesses are making significant changes to their organizational policies as they recover and adapt to the demands of the post-pandemic normal,” said P&A Grant Thornton chairperson & CEO Marivic Españo.

“But as we can see from the results of our Women in Business Report, progress in narrowing the gender disparity has been, for the longest time, just an offshoot effect of solutions to other workplace issues. The time is ripe to adopt strategies focused and dedicated solely to bridging the gender gap still present today,” she added.

To more effectively address the gender gap, Grant Thornton is making stronger global calls for mid-market businesses to push for gender parity and that intentional action from businesses is needed to accelerate progress.

The most significant boost toward achieving gender parity could come from a continued commitment by businesses to provide increased flexible working, Grant Thornton said.

According to the International Business Report (IBR), businesses that offer flexible, hybrid and home-based models have the highest levels of women in senior leadership roles.

In businesses that have adopted a hybrid way of working, 34 percent of senior leaders are women, while in businesses that are fully flexible where staff choose how they work, it is 36 percent. Meanwhile, only 29 percent of senior management roles is held by females in businesses with predominantly office-based models.


As published in Manila Standard, dated 12 March 2023

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