RP leads world in number of women execs
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino women are showing the world that what men can do, they can do also.
According to research by Grant Thornton International, women hold 47 percent of senior management positions in the Philippines, leading the world average by as much as 23 percentage points.
“Women in the Philippines have really broken the proverbial glass ceiling, not only in the corporate world but also in the government,” said Lily Linsangan, Punongbayan & Araullo audit partner and business risk services group head.
“As an auditor of more than 25 years, I have not encountered an all-male management team. In our own firm, eight of the 18 partners and five of the seven members of the management committee are women,” Linsangan said.
Data from the Department of Labor and Employment show that women have steadily outnumbered men in executive positions in the past several years.
In 2002, the ratio was 1.86 million females to 1.4 million males in supervisory and executive positions, the DOLE said. The trend became even more pronounced in 2006, with the ratio of female managers to male managers becoming 2.257 million to 1.629 million.
By 2007, this ratio had become 2.281 million female managers to 1.677 million male managers.
Joining the Philippines in the list of countries ranking high in women empowerment in the workplace are Russia with 42 percent of senior management positions held by women, Thailand with 38 percent, Poland with 32 percent, and China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Mexico with 31 percent.
The biggest leaps were made by Turkey and Mexico, whose percentages of senior management positions held by women jumped from 17 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2009, and from 20 percent in 2007 to 31 percent this year, respectively.
“Mexico is a country that is standing up firmly and constantly for women’s rights and equality. It is known that women need an elevated education level to compete with men in employment, so the Mexican female sector is preparing itself more and more, and the results can be seen with the rise of 10 percentage points in this survey,” said Veronica Galindo, audit partner of Salles Sainz Grant Thornton.
“However, there is still much to do regarding equal salaries compared with men, but I am certain that sooner rather than later, the salary differences will decrease,” she said.
Globally, however, women continue to have a difficult time climbing up the corporate ladder, with only an average of 24 percent of senior management positions held by female executives.
This was the same percentage registered in 2007, which was just a few notches up from the 19-percent figure posted in 2004.
More than a third, or 34 percent, of privately held businesses worldwide did not have any women in senior management.
Countries and territories that remained unreceptive to the concept of women in senior management positions included Japan with only 7 percent, Belgium with 12 percent, Denmark with 13 percent, and India and the Netherlands with 15 percent.
Drops in the percentage of senior management positions held by women were registered by Brazil, from 42 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2009, and Hong Kong, from 35 percent in 2007 to 28 percent in 2009.