Women in Business and Management

The business case for change - Executive summary

This research finds that the share of women in managerial positions across the globe is growing considerably. From 2002, a steady upward trend of women filling the ranks at greater speed than men are seen, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia. However, the increase has been markedly smaller in some regions, such as Africa and the Middle East. These gains have yet to lead to a major shift in the gender composition of senior leadership and decision-making positions within companies.  According to our global survey of almost 13,000 enterprises in 70 countries, nearly half of enterprises reported that women hold fewer than 30 per cent of entry-level management positions. Given these figures, it comes as no surprise that in 60 per cent of companies, fewer than 30 per cent of senior managers and top executives are women. Gender balance, both in the general workforce or among senior managers, is defined as 40-60 per cent of either gender. The finding of our report that is of paramount importance is that gender diversity is a smart business strategy: the lack of gender diversity may act as a barrier to enhanced business performance. Most companies of all sizes around the world report that gender diversity helps improve business outcomes. Of the enterprises surveyed reporting improved business outcomes, over 60 per cent report higher profitability and productivity. Gender equality is also good economics. Increasing women’s labour force participation has been shown to boost the gross domestic product at the national level.

Brochures / Factsheets
International Labour Organization [ILO]
10 pages
Diversity & Inclusion
Women's Rights/Women Empowerment