Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Botswana women lord it over boardrooms ÔÇô global survey

Botswana tops the league of countries where more women have made it into senior management roles ÔÇô a new report by Grant Thornton International has revealed.

Batswana women were found to rise to the top as Corporate / Financial Controller (26 percent) followed closely by General / Office Manager (25 percent) and then HR Director (14 percent). South African businesses had higher number of female CFOs (32 percent), followed by female HR Directors (27 percent) and then female Sales Directors (15 percent). This indicates more doors opening in the financial sector, traditionally a male-dominated sector.

All in all, the research revealed that Botswana scored better than South Africa and the rest of the world excluding the Balticstates.

To mark International Women’s Day 2013 on 8 March, the new research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) revealed that globally, more women are making it into senior management roles than at any time since 2010. However, progress is slower in the G7 group of developed economies, where economic performances have been stuttering, than in the high growth economies of Asia and the Far East. Grant Thornton urges businesses in developed economies to emulate emerging market counterparts and reap the benefits of having more women in senior positions.

IBR data shows that globally, 24 percent of senior management roles are now filled by women. This is up from 21 percent in 2012 and 20 percent in 2011. However, the G7 economies come bottom of the league table with just 21 percent of senior roles occupied by women. This compares to 28 percent in the BRIC economies, 32 percent in South East Asia and 40 percent in the Balticstates.

By comparison, Botswana with 32 percent surpassed both neighbouring South Africa (28 percent) and the rest of the world (24 percent). This was a slight dip from the 39 percent recorded in 2012. South Africa remained the same having reported 28 percent women in senior management positions in 2012.

Japan (7 percent of senior roles occupied by women, the worst performer), the UK (19 percent) and the USA (20 percent) are in the bottom eight countries for women in senior management. These economies are also experiencing low levels of growth, with GDP in Japan (1.9 percent), the UK (-0.1) and the USA (2.2 percent) in 2012 all modest. In contrast, top of the table for women in senior management is China, with 51 percent. GDP growth for 2012 there is expected to be between 7-8 percent. The top 10 also contains the growth economies of Latvia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

Francesca Lagerberg, Head of tax at Grant Thornton UK and incoming Global leader of Tax at Grant Thornton International Ltd, commented: “The pioneer economies where economic growth is high have greater diversity in their senior management teams. Women are playing a major role in driving the world’s growth economies, bringing balance to the decision making process and the smooth running of their companies. In comparison, the mature economies of the G7 are now playing catch up. They need to wake up to gender disparity and add this crucial ingredient to long-term growth and profitability. Women should be awarded on merit, and even if the route to the top is tougher in certain sectors and regions than others, all businesses can benefit from greater diversity in top positions.”

In addition the new research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) reveals that globally, more women are making it into senior management roles than at any time since 2010. 24 percent of senior management roles are now filled by women. This is up from 21 percent in 2012 and 20 percent in 2011.

Anjana Suresh, Partner, Corporate Services at Grant Thornton in Botswana, stated, “Today’s career woman is busier than ever. From balancing work-life, starting a new business, while still holding down a day job, or just trying to fit too much into a single day; women have never been busier. A woman well known for her multi-tasking ability can manage work and home responsibility if it is absolutely necessary for her to do so with prioritisation. This comes essentially from strong family ties, support from spouse and friends.

In most cases a woman is more focused on completing the tasks in her workplace and taking care of responsibilities at home that she forgets to compete with colleagues and earn the credits she deserves. In this scenario supportive male colleagues and superiors play a major role in the career growth of women to senior positions.”

The IBR also reveals that the proportion of women in senior positions is markedly different across different sectors. Over double the number of positions in the global healthcare sector are occupied by women (45 percent) than in construction or mining (19 percent).

According to the IBR, the most likely route to the top for women is revealed as follows:
The senior management position most filled by women is Chief Finance Officer (31 percent).
The sector with the highest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women is healthcare (45 percent).

The country with the highest proportion of senior management roles filled by women China (51 percent).

In contrast, the research reveals that the route to the top least likely to be taken by women is:
The senior management position least filled by women is Chief Information Officer (6 percent).
The sectors with the lowest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women are construction and mining (each 19 percent).

The country with the lowest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women is Japan (7 percent).

Batswana women were found to rise to the top as Corporate / Financial Controller (26 percent) followed closely by General / Office Manager (25 percent) and then HR Director (14 percent). South African businesses had higher number of female CFOs (32 percent), followed by female HR Directors (27 percent) and then female Sales Directors (15 percent). This indicates more doors opening in the financial sector, traditionally a male-dominated sector.

How to get more women in senior roles?

The IBR data reveals that flexible working, while welcomed by many, does not appear to be a determining factor in getting women into top positions. 72 percent of businesses in the poor-performing G7 countries provide flexible working, while in top of the table China only 27 percent of businesses offer flexible working, and only 40 percent in the BRIC economies. However, 80 percent of respondents in Botswana, where 32 percent of women occupy senior management positions, are offered flexible working hours.

Francesca Lagerberg concluded: “What our research shows is that it is good practice, and those regions adopting it are currently outperforming those who aren’t.”

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