Grant Thornton: Actions Needed to Accelerate Gender Parity in the Work Force
Immediate actions must be taken by mid-market businesses to accelerate progress in gender equity found the “Women in Business” report released this week by Grant Thornton.
Indicatively, the percentage of women in senior administrative positions worldwide rose by 0.5 percent compared to 2022, reaching 32.4 percent, slightly over the minimum representation required to make a change in the business decision-making process.
According to the Global Gender Gap report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), it will take 132 years to address the global gender gap.
Among others, the Grant Thornton survey identifies factors that could support faster parity:
– 28 percent of mid-market businesses now have a female chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director (MD), up from 15 percent in 2019 – this can lead to new diversity strategies
– external pressures around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors demand the creation of new strategies, including a push towards more women in senior leadership
– the more flexible the workplace, the more we see women getting into senior leadership.
In Greece meanwhile, the percentage of women in senior management increased by 9 percentage points in 2023 to 37 percent compared to 28 percent in 2022, reaching the highest level ever recorded since the first “Women in Business” survey in 2004.
At the same time, the percentage of businesses with no women in senior management dropped to 11 percent from 22 percent last year – the second lowest level since the survey began.
The proportion of females in partner positions increased to 25 percent in 2023, compared to only 5 percent in 2022, compared to the respective percentage on a global level which stood at 8 percent.
The proportion of female chief executive officers and managing directors dropped to 14 percent compared to 16 percent in 2022, while the proportion of women chief finance officers also fell to 34 percent from 36 percent in 2022.
The proportion of women holding HR Director positions rose to 24 percent, compared to 21 percent in 2022, while the percentage of females in chief information officer positions rose to 7 percent.
Actions taken by Greek businesses to ensure employee engagement and inclusion in the past 12 months are: creating an environment where all colleagues can ‘speak up’ with ideas, issues and questions (37.3 percent); adapt existing learning and development programs to the changing environment (28.4 percent); promoting work/life balance and/or flexibility for employees (27.5 percent); and monitoring employees’ mental health and/or wellbeing (27.5 percent).
“The changing Greek legislative framework has opened doors to some of those roles which have previously been occupied by men. Hybrid working has also had an impact, as it has ensured less bias in recruiting for these roles. While hybrid working certainly gives an opportunity for more balance between work and home life, and can bring the best of both worlds, it’s essential for women’s progression that the two elements don’t become blurred,” said Partner, Head of People Experience & Culture of Grant Thornton Greece Katerina Koulouri.
“International Women’s Day is another opportunity for us to highlight equality and further strengthen building up a global corporate culture of inclusion and equal opportunities without exclusion,” said Vassilis Kazas, managing partner Grant Thornton Greece.
“The latest data from the “Women in Business” survey confirms that the proportion of women in senior management continues to rise steadily, bringing us one step closer to full equality in the business world. In this global effort to achieve equality in all aspects of our society, it is important to highlight measures that promote not only equality but also diversity and inclusion,” he added.