CHICAGO, March 7, 2014 –(BUSINESS WIRE)–The United States ranks in the bottom 10 performing countries for women in senior management roles, according to new research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), a survey of 6,700 business leaders in 45 countries.
The United States cites just 22 percent of senior roles occupied by women, a minute increase from the previous year (20 percent). Japan at 9 percent and Denmark, which dropped nine percentage points to 14 percent, both hold spots in the bottom eight. Interestingly, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and China top the list, with Russia ranking as the best country for women in senior management at 43 percent. Other top 10 performing countries include the growth economies of Latvia, Thailand and Philippines. In BRIC nations, 32 percent of senior business leaders are women, up four percentage points from the previous year.
“It’s no longer feasible for U.S. businesses to adopt a sit and wait policy when it comes to promoting women to senior management roles, particularly when so many other nations —developed and emerging — are more rapidly realizing the benefits of diverse senior leadership,” said Erica O’Malley, Grant Thornton LLP’s national managing partner of Diversity & Inclusion.
Many economies cite decreases in the percentages of women obtaining boardroom positions, including the BRIC nations, down six percentage points from last year to 20 percent. In the G7, 15 percent of board members are women, down one percentage point from last year. In the United States, just 16 percent of board members are women, revealing no change since last year. Globally, 45 percent of businesses said they would support the idea of quotas for the number of women on executive boards of large listed companies, up from 37 percent in 2013.
Globally, an average of just 21 percent of new graduates joining companies are women. When asked what proportion of graduate intake are women, 20 percent of U.S. businesses cite just 1 to 10 percent are women.
The IBR data also reveals that only 11 percent of businesses globally have a program to support and mentor women. Globally, 70 percent of businesses cite that they are not considering starting such programs, while 13 percent are considering mentor programs for executive women.
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SOURCE: Grant Thornton LLP