Global momentum means more women move into management – ILO

ILOWhile women are still under-represented in top management positions, the number in senior and middle management has increased over the last 20 years, International Labour Organization (ILO) Bureau for Employers’ Activities study says.

According to the study, dubbed: “Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum,” which was made available to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, the proportion of women managers had increased during this period in 80 of the 108 countries for which ILO data was available.

“Our research is showing that women’s ever increasing participation in the labour market has been the biggest engine of global growth and competitiveness,” said Deborah France-Massin, Director of the ILO Bureau for Employers’ Activities.

“An increasing number of studies are also demonstrating positive links between women’s participation in top decision making teams and structures and business performance. But there is a long way to go before we achieve true gender equality in the workplace, especially when it comes to top management positions,” she said.

The study said only five per cent or less of the chief executive officers of the world’s largest corporations were women; adding that the larger the company, the less likely the head would be a woman.

It said all-male company boards were still common but were decreasing in number, with women attaining 20 per cent or more of all board seats in a handful of countries.

A global survey quoted in the study showed that Norway had the highest global proportion of companies; 13.3 per cent with a woman as company board chairperson, followed by Turkey; 11.1 per cent.

“It is critical for more women to reach senior management positions in strategic areas to build a pool of potential candidates for top jobs such as CEO or company president,” said France-Massin.

“However, ‘glass walls’ still exist with the concentration of women in certain types of management functions like HR, communications and administration,” she said.

“Today, women own and manage over 30 per cent of all businesses, but they are more likely to be found in micro and small enterprises. Getting more women to grow their businesses is not only critical for equality but also for national development,” according to the report.

The report provides statistics on women in management and in business for most countries from all regions and at all levels of development.

It also contains data on the gender pay-gap at management and lower levels, as well as statistics on women’s achievements in education.

It identifies the growing momentum building around the world to advance women to higher levels of management and lists a selection of the numerous initiatives from various sectors.

The report also provides the following recommendations to close the remaining gender gap such as seeking “flexible solutions” to manage work and family time commitments as an alternative to being subject to special treatment or quotas, and providing maternity protection coverage and childcare support to bring added value to the company through the recruitment and retention of talented women.

It emphasises “changing mind-sets” to break cultural barriers and fight sexual harassment; addressing the so-called “leaky pipeline” whereby women fall behind despite their high level of education; implementing gender-sensitive human resources policies and measures; and making sure women are given as challenging tasks as men from the very beginning of their career.

The authors underline that women and girls receive almost half of all educational resources, thus representing a significant proportion of the available talent pool. Therefore, companies’ investment in attracting, retaining and promoting skilled women is likely to be good for business.

The report finally says that national employers’ organisations can play a major role in increasing awareness of the business case for appointing women in leadership roles.

“Unless action is taken, it could take 100 to 200 years to achieve parity at the top. It is time to smash the glass ceiling for good to avoid controversial mandatory quotas that are not always necessary or effective. Having women in top positions is simply good for business,” it said.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.