Fewer women in NZ management roles

Grant Thornton’s latest International Business Report shows women now hold 28 percent of senior management positions in businesses in New Zealand. That’s down from 32 percent last year and still behind the 2004 level of 31 percent.

There’s similar picture in other economies:

Asia Pacific: down to 19 percent in 2012 (25 percent in 2009);
South East Asia: now 32 percent (36 percent in 2009); 
The BRIC economies: now 26 percent (30 percent in 2009). 

Europe bucked the trend. Despite rising unemployment, the proportion of women in senior management in Europe has continued to rise steadily from 17 percent in 2004 to 20 percent in 2009 and 24 percent in 2012. 

In Australia, women now hold 24 percent of senior positions.

Of the 40 economies surveyed, businesses in Russia employ the most women in senior management (46 percent), ahead of Botswana, Thailand and the Philippines (all 39 percent), whilst Italy ranks highest in Europe (36 percent).

Bottom of the table is Japan, where only 5 percent of senior management positions are filled by women, below Germany (13 percent), India (14 percent) and Denmark (15 percent). 

The biggest risers over the past 12 months include Turkey (25 percent to 31 percent), and the United Arab Emirates (8 percent to 15 percent), results that suggest that the wave of economic liberalisation in the Middle East as result of the Arab Spring could have boosted the chances of women in the region reaching the top.

When it comes to offering flexible working hours, New Zealand ranks fourth best in the world after Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

The data are drawn from interviews with 6000 businesses across the globe conducted between November 2011 and February 2012.

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