The Philippines ranked first in having the most number of women executives in senior management positions according to Grant Thornton International’s 2020 Women in Business report. The country got 43 percent among 32 countries included in the survey followed by South Africa, Poland, and Mexico. The report released in 2019 ranked the Philippines fifth in the list with a 37.5 percent score.
Local data indicates that the top three roles in the country for women are Chief Finance Officer (38 percent), Human Resources Director (36 percent), and Chief Operating Officer (23 percent).
Marivic Españo, chair and CEO of P&A Grant Thornton, said in an interview with Inquirer that though the percentages have stalled globally, women are still holding these positions which also topped last year’s survey. "We are seeing that the most significant roles in business operations—strategy, finance, and people—are being held by women. We hope to see more women step up into the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director role in the future."
The report also indicated that more and more businesses are taking steps to improve gender diversity in the workplace, with 94 percent working on gender parity at senior levels. Examples of efforts done by companies include providing better access to developmental work (36 percent), having flexible working hours, mentoring and coaching, and improving recruitment approaches (all 33 percent). In the Philippines, specifically, policy changes have helped a lot in boosting the number of women in top positions.
Españo, however, believes that more work can be done to improve this. In an interview cited by Inquirer, she said, "To achieve meaningful progress, [policies] must be adhered to, enforced and regularly revisited to assess their effectiveness. When that is combined with real commitment from senior leadership, you begin creating a truly inclusive culture."
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