How'd I Miss This?

Back in March, the World Economic Forum (have I already mentioned that I love their research?) issued a new report on the gender gap in worldwide corporations. The Corporate Gender Gap Report is a complement to the Global Gender Gap Report and highlights one of the areas that the WEF analyzes to come up with its country rankings. Here are excerpts from the news release about the report. I'll download and read the entire document over the weekend.
"The United States (52%), Spain (48%), Canada (46%) and Finland (44%) have the highest percentage of women employees at all levels among the responding companies. India is the country with the lowest percentage of women employees (23%), followed by Japan (24%), Turkey (26%) and Austria (29%). At the industry level, the findings of the survey confirm that the services sector employs the greatest percentage of women employees. Within this sector, the financial services and insurance (60%), professional services (56%) and media and entertainment (42%) industries employ the greatest percentage of women. The sectors that display the lowest percentage of women in the 20 economies are automotive (18%), mining (18%) and agriculture (21%).

Female employees tend to be concentrated in entry or middle level positions and remain scarce in senior management or board positions in most countries and industries. A major exception to this trend is Norway, where the percentage of women among boards of directors is above 40% for the majority of respondents. This is due to a government regulation that mandates a minimum of 40% of each gender on the boards of public companies.

The average for women holding the CEO-level position was a little less than 5% among the 600 companies surveyed. Finland (13%), Norway (12%), Turkey (12%), Italy (11%) and Brazil (11%) have the highest percentage of women CEOs in this sample.

Although wage gaps between women and men are a universally recognized problem, 72% of the companies surveyed do not attempt to track salary gaps at all. However, a more positive revelation is that almost 40% of the companies surveyed claim to be setting specified targets, quotas or other affirmative policies to improve women’s participation in their structures. With the exception of Mexico and Brazil, the majority of companies in most countries claim to offer longer-term leave or career breaks for parents or care-givers."

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women and author of No Ceiling, No Walls (Dec 2009). She blogs on networking for PINK Magazine. Follow her on Twitter.
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