P&A Grant Thornton News

PH tops Asia list of women in senior management

The Philippines had the most number of women in senior management among Asian countries last year, audit firm Grant Thornton International Ltd. said in its Women in Business 2019 report.

Thirty-seven percent of the senior management teams in the Philippines included women, the highest among Asian nations, the report said.

This was followed by Vietnam (36.94 percent), Singapore (33.04 percent), Indonesia (31.85 percent), South Korea (29.89 percent), Mainland China (28.32 percent), India (28.16 percent), United Arab Emirates (24.17 percent), Malaysia (22.68 percent), Armenia (22.46 percent), Thailand (19.39 percent) and Japan (15.43 percent).

Globally however, the Philippines’ ranking dropped by 10 percent to land at fifth place from the top position in 2017. New Zealand led the global ranking last year at 43.90 percent

“The dip does not yet take into account the government’s recent measures to provide flexible working arrangements for women,” Grant Thornton said.

Marivic Españo, P&A Grant Thornton chairperson and chief executive officer, said the top positions of Filipino women in companies were human resources director (75 percent), chief finance officer (66 percent) and chief operating officer (53 percent).

To improve or preserve gender balance in managerial positions, firms were taking initiatives such as extending equal access to development work opportunities (70 percent), giving training (66 percent) and allowing flexible working (56 percent), the audit firm said.

More than half of female executives who were surveyed, despite the initiatives, still flagged the lack of development work opportunities in their companies.

“If we want to continue seeing female representation in senior positions, more deliberate action needs to be taken and leaders will play a crucial role,” Españo said.

“To achieve meaningful progress, they (policies promoting gender equality) must be adhered to, enforced, and regularly revisited to assess their effectiveness and, when that is combined with real commitment from senior leadership, you begin creating a truly inclusive culture,” she added.

Globally, the percentage of having at least one woman in senior management has gained 12 percent to 87 percent this year. Twenty-nine percent of senior leadership positions were held by female officials globally.

As published in The Manila Times, dated on 04 March 2019