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Female Managers Dominate in Only Three Countries


23 January 2015 at 10:39 am
Xavier Smerdon
There are only three countries in the world where you are more likely to have a female manager than a male one, and Australia is not one of them.

Xavier Smerdon | 23 January 2015 at 10:39 am


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Female Managers Dominate in Only Three Countries
23 January 2015 at 10:39 am

There are only three countries in the world where you are more likely to have a female manager than a male one, and Australia is not one of them.

According to a major new report released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Australia ranks 42nd in the world when it comes to the percentage of business managed by women, 27 places behind the USA, 20 places behind New Zealand and five places behind Kazakhstan.

The Women in Business and Management Gaining Momentum report found that only 36.2 per cent of businesses in Australia were managed by women.

The only three countries where the majority of businesses were run by women were Jamaica, 59.3 per cent, Colombia, 53.1 per cent and Saint Lucia, where 52.3 per cent of managers are female.

In some countries however, the number of female managers was growing dramatically.

Cyprus had the largest increase in the percentage of businesses managed by women, with the figure growing from around 15 per cent to just above 50 per cent.

Panama, Uruguay and Iceland all saw an increase in female managers of about 15 per cent.

The report claimed that women around the globe, even in first world countries, were still being faced with a glass ceiling when it came to career progression, despite efforts to counter gender bias.

“Some commentators describe progress as “glacial” and consider that unless action is taken it could take 100 to 200 years to achieve parity at the top,” the report said.

“One consequence of this inertia is that a number of countries have moved to legislate controversial mandatory quotas for women on company boards, with Norway being the first.

“The European Union is currently considering extending these to its member states with a draft Gender Directive passed by the European Parliament in November 2013 and still under consideration by the European Council of Ministers as of mid-2014.

“Other countries, notably Australia, Canada, Hong Kong China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, United Kingdom, United States of America, while stopping short of quotas, have adopted a variety of measures to promote more women in management, such as inclusion of gender diversity requirements and reporting in corporate governance codes, codes of conduct, voluntary targets and cooperative initiatives between business and Government.”

Director General of the International Labour Office, Guy Ryder, said that having more females in higher management roles would have positive effects.

“Promoting gender equality at the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. A growing body of evidence shows that utilizing the skills and talent of both men and women is beneficial for enterprises and for society in general,” Ryder said.

“The report underlines the fact that women’s presence in the labour market is increasingly significant for economic growth and development at both national and enterprise levels. It seeks to demonstrate the benefits that enterprises stand to gain in recognizing and supporting women’s talent.

“As women surpass men in educational attainment in most regions, they represent an incredible talent pool and national resource.

“The report shows that women still have to deal with a number of hurdles to reach positions as CEOs and company board members. While they have advanced in business and management, they continue to be shut out of higher level economic decisionmaking despite the last decade of activism to smash the ‘glass ceiling’.”


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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