Bloomberg Línea — That women have been gaining ground in the business world in recent decades is a fact, but that growth has been stagnating and, currently, worldwide, only 32.4% of senior management positions in medium-sized companies are occupied by women.
This figure, which comes from a report carried out every year for International Women’s Day by global accounting and advisory firm Grant Thornton., represents only a 0.5 percentage-point increase over last year.
On the positive side, the number of women in senior management positions in Latin America is above the global average, at 37%.
“In the 19 years since we started monitoring this, the ratio has only changed 13 percentage points. The curve has steepened in recent years, but there is still a long way to go,” the Grant Thornton report states.
“While progress continues to be made in the overall number of women in senior leadership positions, this year’s research shows that it is worryingly slow,” said Karitha Ericson of Grant Thornton International.
What is happening in Latin America?
Women’s 37% share of corporate management positions in Latin America is an improvement of two percentage points compared to the 2022 study.
- In Southeast Asia, women’s participation in senior management roles is 40%.
- European Union: 33%.
- Asia Pacific: 32%.
- North America: 31%.
What roles do women in management positions occupy in Latin America?
According to the study, women’s participation in management positions in Latin American companies is as follows:
- 48% of human resources directors in the region are women
- 42% of chief financial officers (CFO) in Latin America are women
- 33% of CEOs in Latin America are women
- 34% of chief marketing officers (CMO) in Latin America are women
- 29% of COOs in Latin America are women
- 17% of chief information officers (CIOs) in Latin America are women
Still very few woman business owners in Latin America
If we focus on reports by other international organizations, the numbers are much more discouraging, however.
According to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on the Latin American labor market in 2021, only 14% of firms are owned by women, and the boards of directors in the region had barely 15% female participation.
Furthermore, according to the IDB, only 11% of companies had a woman in the position of senior manager.
Far from gender parity
A recent global study by IBM Institute for Business Value reveals that, despite increased attention and efforts, gender parity in senior management is further away than many think.
The global study surveyed 2,500 executives, managers and professionals - an equal number of men and women - from organizations in 10 industries and 12 countries, including Brazil.
“At the current rate of change shown in the survey, gender parity is still decades away. Perceptions of progress around gender equity can be dangerous and support complacency when bold action is needed,” argue the report’s authors, who provide some figures in this regard:
- After years of inertia, there was a small increase in the number of women at C-Suite and board level (now 12% for both)
- However, the number of top leadership positions has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels: Women occupy 14% of senior vice president positions, down from 18% in 2019, and 16% of vice president positions are occupied by women, down from 19% in 2019
- The percentage of women in professional and non-executive management positions has not advanced since the 2021 downturn caused by the pandemic, and has even declining somewhat for senior manager roles. At the other extreme, 40% of junior professionals or specialists are women, making it the closest role to gender parity, up from 37% in 2021.