Among other Asia Pacific countries, Philippines has the most number of women trusted with senior leadership roles by companies, something that could make the economy easily adapt to a rapidly changing global business environment.

A global survey by Grant Thornton revealed that the Philippines emerged as the top country with the highest number of senior leadership roles held by women in the Asia Pacific.

Its latest annual survey of 5,520 businesses in 36 economies highlights how, in the Philippines, 39 percent of businesses have women in senior management, recording the highest in the region.

The APAC countries with the highest proportions of leadership roles held by women next to the Philippines are Thailand (37 percent) and Indonesia (36 percent), while the lowest proportions are reported in Japan (7 percent), New Zealand (19 percent) and Australia (23 percent).

“The global trend of emerging economies outperforming their developed peers when it comes to diversity in business leadership is particularly visible in the APAC region. The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia are among the world’s ten best-performing nations when it comes to the occupation of senior business positions by women,” P&A Grant Thornton chairperson and chief executive officer Marivic Españo said.

“In these nations, a well-established culture of women receiving further education and advocacy of the women in business cause has spurred change,” she added.

Globally, the proportion of senior business roles held by women stands at 24 percent, up slightly from 22 percent in 2015. However, this minor uplift has coincided with an increase in the percentage of firms with no women in senior management at 33 percent in 2016 compared to 32 percent last year.

The G7, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States, is among the worst performing regions worldwide, with just 22 percent of senior roles occupied by women and 39 percent of companies with no women in senior roles.

“Companies across developed nations have discussed diversity in leadership for long enough. It’s time to put their promises into practice and deliver results,” Españo said.

“We know that businesses with diverse workforces can outperform their more homogenous peers and are better positioned to adapt to a rapidly changing global business environment,” she added.

The result of Grant Thorton’s survey came just in time with the International Women’s Day, which is being celebrated all over the world today (Tuesday).

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of more than 10,000 businesses per year across 36 economies.

As published in Manila Bulletin dated 08 March 2016 by Madelaine B. Miraflor