Count of women holding corporate roles growing, a vital sign of ‘women empowerment’

Count of women holding corporate roles growing, a vital sign of ‘women empowerment’

By Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — In an unprecedented development, a high percentage of women are now holding senior corporate roles in the country as they topped polls conducted by global consultancy firm Grant Thornton.

Results in the recent survey showed that almost half of senior leadership positions in mid-market businesses in the Philippines are now occupied by women—the highest proportion among the 29 large economies surveyed annually by the consultancy firm.

More importantly, Grant Thornton noted, the 48 percent of senior corporate positions held by females in the country are higher than last year’s level of 43 percent, thus representing a marked improvement over the 35 percent recorded in the Women in Business report about a decade ago.

“Ranking first globally in terms of women in senior roles in the Philippines is an important milestone for businesses in the country, but not the end goal,” P&A Grant Thornton chair and CEO Marivic Españo said in a statement.

The increase in the ratio of women holding senior positions in local firms represents a steady improvement in women empowerment in the country in recent years. It also passes the important 30 percent threshold, which research shows is the minimum representation needed to change decision-making processes.

All countries surveyed except for China (29 percent), the United Arab Emirates (26 percent), South Korea (18 percent) and Japan (15 percent) have now surpassed the crucial 30 percent milestone.

Grant Thornton’s research revealed higher numbers of women across operational ‘C-suite’ roles in the Philippines compared to last year, with the proportion of female chief executive officers up 16 percentage points to 38 percent, and female chief operating officers up four percentage points to 27 percent.

On the other hand, this year, the proportion of female chief financial officers went down three percentage points to 35 percent. The proportion of women in the more traditional senior human resources roles were also up at 48 percent, higher by 12 percentage points in 2021.

The data was contained in Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, a survey of both listed and privately held businesses. Launched in 1992, the report now provides insight into the views and expectations of around 10,000 businesses across 29 economies. (AI/MTVN)

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