Survey: More women hold senior corporate roles in PH

THE Philippines has the most number of women holding senior leadership positions in mid-market businesses among 29 other economies, according to a new report.

Grant Thornton’s annual Women in Business report found that Filipino women hold 48% of senior corporate positions in the country, which is five points higher than the 43% in 2020 when 32 economies were surveyed.

In the Philippines, 100 mid-market businesses participated in the survey.

Globally, women have taken 31% of positions in senior management teams, surpassing the important 30% threshold, which research shows is the minimum representation needed to change decision-making processes.

All countries surveyed have surpassed the 30 percent threshold except for China (29%), the United Arab Emirates (26%), South Korea (18%) and Japan (15%).

Following the Philippines in the list are South Africa, India, Brazil, and Vietnam. Germany ranked 6th, followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Canada.

“Ranking first globally in terms of women in senior roles in the Philippines is an important milestone for businesses in the country, but not the end goal. Those businesses that want to reap the benefits of a better gender balance, must continue to take action to enable women to realize their ambitions,” said P&A Grant Thornton chair and CEO Marivic Españo in a statement.

She added, “Becoming the number one ranking country in terms of the proportion of women in senior management certainly does represent progress — having grown from 39 percent five years ago when we first started tracking this — but these gains can easily be lost.”

The survey found that the number of Filipino women in operational C-suite roles has been growing, with the proportion of female chief executive officers up 16 percentage points to 38%, and female chief operating officers up four percentage points to 27%.

On the other hand, the proportion of female chief financial officers went down three percentage points to 35%.

In addition, 42% of the respondents said that the new working practices like remote work adapted in response to the pandemic will benefit women’s career trajectories long-term, despite potentially hindering factors which may be down to the flexibility that remote working offers.

Launched in 1992, the IBR provides insights into the views and expectations of around 10,000 businesses across 29 economies.

The 2021 survey was conducted from October to December 2020 through online and telephone interviews with chief executive officers, managing directors, chairperson or other senior executives from all industry sectors.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at

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