Increase in female senior managers in NZ

The 2011 Grant Thornton International Business Report found that Thailand boasts the greatest percentage of women in senior management (45%), followed by Georgia (40%), Russia (36%), Hong Kong and the Philippines (both 35%). The countries with the lowest percentages are India, the United Arab Emirates and Japan, where fewer than 10% of senior management positions are held by women.

Pam Newlove, national director of privately held business with Grant Thornton New Zealand, says while New Zealand is comfortably ahead of neighbours Australia (27%) as well as the United Kingdom (23%) and the United States (15%), there is still work to be done to match some of the Asian countries.

“Women certainly excel in some areas required in senior management, such as an ability to maintain strong relationships with clients. But generally they require greater level of flexibility in their roles to fit in with their other (in many cases family) commitments, and this sometimes can become barrier to promotion.”

Newlove says it is probable large number of women are not aggressively aspiring to senior management roles simply because they’re balancing number of commitments and priorities. The survey results also suggest need for easier access to good leadership training for young women.

Of the companies that employ women in senior managerial positions globally, 22% are employed in financial positions (eg chief financial officer/finance director), followed by human resources (20%) and marketing and sales (both 9%).

Globally just 8% of companies with women in senior managerial positions have female chief executive officer. However the story is different in Asian economies. Thailand leads the way with 30% of companies employing female CEOs, followed by mainland China (19%), Taiwan (18%) and Vietnam (16%).

In New Zealand 7% of companies have female CEO, 28% chief financial officer, 12% human resources director, 10% chief operating officer, 8% partner and 7% chief marketing manager.

For further information contact [email protected].


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