Women in business

Women in business 2022: Global and regional findings

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After two years of disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, it’s heartening in 2022 to see an increase in the proportion of mid-market senior management positions held by women globally.

While progress remains incremental, positive momentum is to be celebrated when, following the pandemic, a levelling off or even backward step might have been anticipated in this volatile environment.

We are pleased to share a roundup of the global and regional data from our research into the position of women in senior management across the world, and the progress towards gender parity in leadership.

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Our research began in 2004 where the proportion of leadership roles held by women worldwide stood at just 19%.

We have seen a postive shift
since our research began.

From 2013 - 2018 the figure stayed in the range of a quarter of leadership roles held by women before a step up and levelling out in 2019 and 2020 at 29%.

Last year we reported on another cause for optimism when the figure passed the 30% tipping point at the global level.

Numbers globally have remained above the 30% tipping point required to precipitate significant change for the second year in a row. The proportion of women in senior management has increased from 31% to 32% in 2022 and never dipped below the first recorded level.

We can now see a clear trajectory for greater gender diversity in senior management and lasting transformational change.

The global increase is largely driven by improvements in Africa and APAC.

Africa continues to represent a success story for female leaders, reaching 40% of overall senior roles, well above the worldwide average.

This is an increase from 39% in 2021, and a significant step up from 30% in 2018.

APAC had generally experienced delayed growth compared to the rest of the world, with its developed countries in particular lagging behind global progress.

In 2022, the region has closed the gap, moving closer to the positioning of other regions and reaching the tipping point of 30% of senior roles held by women – compared to 28% in 2021 and 23% in 2018.

ASEAN is the second highest performer with 37% of the leaders being female.

This was a slight decrease on last year’s figure of 38%, and less impressive than its 2018 score of 39%.

This levelling off is reflected in all of the other regions, which have either remained stable – as in the case of North America, where numbers still stand at 33% – or seen a slight decrease, as in the European Union and Latin America.

The EU has settled at 33% in 2022 compared to 27% in 2018.

Latin America has hit 35% compared to 30% in 2018.

North America much improved over this reporting period, up 12 percentage points from 21% in 2018.

You can explore further yourself. Select the regions you would like to compare from the search bar’.

Opening the door to diverse talent
Opening the door to diverse talent
Read this article

As world economies experience a state of flux and traditional business models are challenged in favour of more fluid structures, different skills are increasingly required. So are you putting in place proactive policies to help access diverse skillsets, bring more women into senior roles and combat the talent shortage?

By opening up new ways to access female talent and retain senior women, organisations are creating a more inclusive, sustainable working environment. For more actions mid market business are taking to ensure employee engagement and inclusion download our 2022 Women in business report.