LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — With 45 per cent of senior management positions held by women, Russia has once again topped a ranking of countries with the highest percentage of women in senior business roles, followed by the Philippines and Lithuania, a report published on Tuesday said.
Japan, where only seven per cent of senior leadership roles are held by women, remained at the bottom of the list. Germany and India ranked slightly higher, with 15 per cent and 16 per cent of women in senior management, respectively.
Globally, only a quarter of senior management positions are held by women, up from 22 per cent a year before, according to "Women in Business" published by the U.S.-based audit and tax firm Grant Thornton.
The number of businesses with no women in senior management has increased to 33 per cent from 32 per cent in 2015, the report, which surveyed 5,520 businesses in 36 countries, said.
"Companies across developed nations have talked the talk on diversity in leadership for long enough," Francesca Lagerberg, global leader for tax services at Grant Thornton International said in a statement.
"It's time to put their promises into practice and deliver results."
With more than a third of senior roles in the region held by women, eastern European countries, among them Estonia, Latvia and Poland, topped the diversity rankings.
Meanwhile, 39 per cent of businesses in G7 countries (Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Britain and the United States) had no women in senior management positions.
"Despite considerable efforts by governments and campaigners across the world's best-developed economies to ensure best practice they continue to lag behind emerging markets in (the diversity) area," Lagerberg said.
"This poor performance seems to be at least partly a result of entrenched societal norms. In the U.K. and U.S. in particular, there are still plentiful examples of a 'command and control' approach to leadership which is not necessarily attractive to women."
Eastern European countries owed some of their diversity to the legacy of the communism and its principles on equality, the report said.