Headline findings

We have been tracking gender diversity in business leadership over the past decade but there has been very little change in the headline figures. Today, just 22% of senior roles are held by women, compared with 19% in 2004. Almost a third of businesses have no women in their senior leadership teams, although this has fallen by 6 percentage over the past three years.

Russia sits top of the global league table with 40% of senior roles occupied by women. It is joined in the top ten by six other economies from Eastern Europe, including Georgia (38%) and Poland (37%). Japan (8%) still sits bottom of the table as it has done every year since 2004. Germany (14%) and India (15%) sit second and third last respectively.

Business leaders highlighted a range of enablers and barriers along the path to promotion. Some of the key themes to emerge were: parenthood and family care require women to make sacrifices; women are more likely to work their way up to management support positions; women are twice as likely to cite gender bias as a barrier; and men and women network differently.