Grant Thornton: “Number of women in executive roles in Thailand grows whilst global stagnates”

Thailand’s first female prime minister, Yingluck, is running into a horde of problems thrown at her by the Bangkok establishment. This attack by the establishment is nothing new. Several male Thai politician close to Thaksin has been toppled before, including Thaksin himself. Yet what is remarkable about Yingluck, is as Thailand Matichon News Group says, quote: “Given Yingluck’s enemies, it is remarkable, she is still Thailand’s prime minister.”

The following is from Grant Thornton (Source)

Grant Thornton’s research reveals the number of women in executive roles in Thailand continues to grow whilst global growth stagnates

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) conducted its annual survey of women in executive roles in the workplace around the world. The report reveals that despite a groundswell of discussion and debate, the proportion of women holding the top jobs around the world remains at just under a quarter. The survey finds growing support for regulations around quotas to get women onto boards as well as several measures businesses can take to facilitate the career paths of women.

Globally the proportion of senior roles filled by women in 2014 is 24%. This is exactly the same proportion as 2013, 2009 and 2007, and only 5% higher than the 19% recorded ten years ago in 2004[1]. Regionally also, there has been very little significant change over the past decade.

The ASEAN had strong representation with three of its countries ranked in the top six in the world for having the highest number of women in executive roles. Indonesia (second at 41%) and the Philippines (fourth at 40%) were just marginally ahead of Thailand (sixth in the world at 38%).

Mrs.SumaleeChokdeeanant, Assurance Partner of Grant Thornton commented: “In Thailand and in many places in South East Asia, it is not unusual for women to be in senior executive roles. Asia is a strongly family-orientated society and the female has always played a key role in the household, especially governing finances. Over time as business has grown, this has simply become the norm for us in Thailand. This is evidenced by a continuing growth trend of women in executive roles here. This will continue to expand through ASEAN as we see increased opportunities brought by the AEC. This will result in a demand for more employees generally, and the need to continually increase diversity in the workplace.”

Francesca Lagerberg, global leader for tax services at Grant Thornton, said: “That greater diversity in decision-making produces better outcomes is no longer up for debate. For businesses, better decisions mean stronger growth, so it is in their interests to facilitate the path of women from the classroom to the boardroom.”

The IBR also shows support for the introduction of quotas to get more women on boards is growing. Globally, close to one in two business leaders (45%) would now like to see quotas for the numbers of women on the boards of large listed companies, up from just over one in three (37%) in 2013. Interestingly, support has grown sharply in the EU (from 33% to 41%) where the imposition of quotas are most likely, but also in the BRIC economies (41% to 72%) while support remains high in Latin America (68%) and Asia Pacific (57%). Across the G7, however, only 33% of business leaders support quotas.

“Many countries around the world recognize the importance of the balance between male and female executives. Even in Japan where the proportion of women executives is just 9%, ranked last in the league table, our survey indicates that over one fifth of respondents supports quotas in order to increase the percentage of women on boards of directors or plans to promote women to senior management roles over the next 12 months. This is a good sign for board diversity globally,” said Mrs.Julaporn Namchaisiri, Managing Director of Corporate Finance at Grant Thornton.

Francesca Lagerberg added: “Quotas are controversial but it may well be that we have reached a tipping point and businesses need the nudge if we are to see a true change.”

“But businesses themselves can also implement measures which could make a real difference. Our research shows that just a fifth of the average global graduate intake is female. You would expect a fair proportion of a business’s future leaders to come from its pool of graduates, so getting more women starting at that level will increase the odds of them making it to the top. It’s better for businesses too; a wider breadth of candidates means more chances of hiring star performers. And more could be done to support working mothers. Providing flexible working is helpful but it’s not enough: businesses should consider providing tangible support for the burden of childcare if they want to retain their most talented women.”

A full report, Women in senior management: from classroom to boardroom, will be available from Friday 7 March 2014 via www.internationalbusinessreport.com.

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