Women Struggle for Equality in High Level Business Positions

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Research conducted ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday (March 8) revealed that while more women are assuming top management positions, gender inequality persists, with men continuing to dominate business leadership roles. Despite notable exceptions and legislative efforts aimed at increasing quotas for women board members and executives, progress towards gender parity in leadership remains gradual.

According to a recent survey by Equileap, a research organization focused on diversity data, only seven percent of CEOs and 17 percent of finance directors in large companies across developed nations are women. “The struggle for gender equality continues,” remarked Diana van Maasdijk, CEO of Equileap.

In a report from 2023, the World Economic Forum highlighted a steady global rise in women’s representation in senior and leadership positions over the past five years. The proportion of women appointed to leadership roles increased from slightly over 33 percent in 2016 to nearly 37 percent in 2022. However, despite these gains, women remain a minority at the top levels of companies, as indicated by overall representation figures.

Tara Cemlyn-Jones, CEO of 25×25, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing gender balance in executive leadership roles, emphasized, “Work structures have been developed over the past two centuries to cater to men’s requirements.” She stressed the necessity of consciously ensuring that these structures are equally equitable for women.

According to a Deloitte survey encompassing 10,500 companies across 51 countries with data from 2021, approximately one in five board members were women, yet only one in 20 held the position of chief executive. In the United States, women constituted about a quarter of board members but less than six percent of company directors.

In Britain, women held approximately 30 percent of board seats, yet only six percent served as executives.

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