Grant Thornton, one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms, has been tracking the proportion of women in senior management since 2004, through the International Business Report (IBR), a quarterly survey of over 3,000 senior executives in 44 economies.
The 2013 results are out and we are pleased to say there has been a slight uptick in the proportion of senior management roles held by women globally over the past 12 months, from 21% to 24%.
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China leads the way with 51% of senior management roles held by women. The US (20%) and UK (19%) are well behind with Japan bottom (7%). Emerging economies are generally ahead on this measure: in the G7, just 21% of senior roles occupied by women, compared to 28% in the BRIC economies, 32% in South East Asia and 40% in the Baltic states.
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.”
Connecting talented women from across Grant Thornton - Women's International Leadership Link (WILL)
In 2012, Grant Thornton launched Women's International Leadership Link (WILL) with a focus on:
• enhancing the visibility and awareness of the skills and competencies of Grant Thornton women worldwide
• providing strong links between international business needs and available international resources
• sharing best practice examples from across the Grant Thornton organisation on launching and managing a successful women's network.
WILL is led by an advisory council, which is comprised of senior member firm partners who successfully lead gender diversity initiatives in their member firms.
Successful member firm gender diversity initiatives include:
Grant Thornton US
Grant Thornton US launched Women at Grant Thornton in 2004 to achieve gender diversity within the firm. Its mission is to enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of women into leadership positions. There are three main initiatives that help to deliver these objectives:
• Flexible work policy
The firm offers five options which include flexitime through alternate start and end times, a compressed work week, telecommuting, partial workload and a combination of any of the other four options.
• Centred leadership
This leadership development series creates a way of thinking and acting that helps women achieve higher impact — resulting in higher performance and greater satisfaction. The customised programme, created specifically for our firm in partnership with McKinsey & Company, is based on research into what sustains women in global leadership positions and is built on the five components of meaning, framing, connecting, engaging and energising.
• Advancement of Women sponsorship programme
This programme is designed to provide high performing female senior managers with an advocate as they navigate the road to partner. Specifically, to capitalise on the knowledge, experience, and relationships of the most experienced partners to develop stronger partner candidates. 50% of the first programme class have been promoted to partner or managing director.
Since Women at Grant Thornton was established, the number of women partners in Grant Thornton US has increased by 177%, growing from 31 to 86, representing 16.8% of the partnership. With the addition of the Managing Director position, the number increases to 19.9% (numbers as at 31 December 2012).
The firm earned national recognition as a Top 10 Company by Working Mother magazine in 2012 and has been recognised as a Top 100 Company for the last seven years.
Grant Thornton Sweden
Grant Thornton Sweden established their women's initiative with the goal of increasing female representation in the manager and partner populations. The firm's board and management strongly believe that by promoting gender diversity, ensuring that women and men have the same opportunities, and achieving a more balanced workforce, they can build a stronger company and realise their full potential.
The firm's goal is to increase the number of female partners from the current level of 22% to 25% by 2015 and to achieve 50/50 male and female managers across the company to ensure talent retention.
One example of their activities to support women in business is their sponsorship of the Gabrielsen award ceremony, a prestigious event to recognise successful business women, with Grant Thornton as the lead sponsor.
Lena Möllerstrom-Nording, Chair of the board at Grant Thornton Sweden and leader of the firm's women's initiative, said, "It is vital that women are able to reach the top levels of business and at Grant Thornton we do everything we can to help women succeed. We are proud to sponsor this award which I feel mirrors what we want to achieve and celebrates successful businesswomen."Report abuse or error