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Fewer women in top positions locally



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It is seemingly still a man’s world, at least in local and global boardrooms.

According to the International Business Report by Grant Thornton, the percentage of women at the apex of Singapore’s businesses has declined over the past few years.

The report found 23% of women in Singapore hold senior management roles, down from 27% last year. Singapore’s score this year was also lower than the global average of 24% and the Asia Pacific average of 25%.

According to the report, positions such as human resource director and chief financial officer were the most popular positions among women worldwide, with 25% and 23% of women holding such roles respectively.

Chief executive officer (12%) and chief marketing director (11%) were also included on the list.

“Businesses with strong links to the public sector are most likely to have women in their leadership teams.

“More than half of education and social services (51%) firms have women in senior management, while healthcare (29%) is also well above the global average,” the report said.

Russia (43%), Latvia (41%) and Indonesia (41%) were the top three countries with the highest number of women leaders in their businesses, while Japan was found to have the lowest number of women in its boardrooms (9%).

The report added such bleak representations of women leaders in businesses are a phenomenon observed worldwide.

“We have been tracking the number of women holding the most senior roles in businesses over the globe over the past decade and are sorry to report there has been no significant movement,” the report said.

“In fact, the figure is unchanged from 2013, and the same as 2009 and 2007, suggesting that women’s ascent up the corporate ladder has returned to its ‘natural level’ following the financial crisis, during which women were disproportionately hit.”

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