Gender Parity at Senior Levels – A Distant Goal

16th July 2023

Altrata, the leading provider of executive intelligence, has released Global Gender Diversity 2023 which examines the degree of female representation on corporate boards and leadership teams across 20 major economies (the Global 20).

This new report highlights that while progress is being made, gender parity at senior levels remains a distant goal. Only 20% of leadership positions at the corporations that make up the major indices of  the Global 20 are occupied by women.

When they do hold such leadership positions, women tend to hold roles with less decision-making executive power, resulting in fewer female CEOs, COOs, and CFOs.

Among numerous findings, Global Gender Diversity 2023 reveals:

>>Only 8.2% of CEO positions in the S&P500 are held by women

>>Large US private companies fare slightly better in terms of gender diversity, with just over 30% female representation in leadership

>>Women account for only 30% of board members across the Global 20, though this proportion is better than in leadership teams

>>Mentoring and volunteering are popular pastimes for female executives of Fortune 500 companies

Progress is being made across the globe:

>>France’s CAC40 companies boast the highest share of female board members, at 43.7%. Ireland sits at 36% (ISEQ20).

>>Only 2 other countries have broken through the 40% barrier: Italy with a 40.7% share of women on boards and the UK with 40.4%

>>Women made up 19.2% of new leadership team appointees among the Global 20 in the year to Q1 2023, slightly lower than the 20.5% among the leadership team as a whole – indicating the danger of uneven progress

>>Seven countries have below 25% female board representation, although they all saw an improvement in the year up to Q1 2023, including Singapore, India, Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan and the UAE.

The report goes on to explore the lack of women in the leadership ‘pipeline’. Not enough women are accumulating the corporate experience necessary to progress to the most senior C-suite roles.

Male senior executives in S&P 500 companies are far more likely to have held previous roles in commercial, sales, operations, or finance functions.

Altrata’s Global Gender Diversity 2023 provides crucial insights into the current state of gender diversity in corporate leadership. The report is essential reading for corporations, recruitment firms, and all individuals invested in advancing and supporting gender equality.

The data also suggests that having women in certain leadership roles (that of CEO or chair) does appear to help advance gender diversity throughout the organisation.

Download Global Gender Diversity 2023 to explore the trends and implications of this gradual but uneven journey of progress.