Just when everyone is talking about gender diversity, Indian women CEOs are making a mark as top leaders. India’s percentage of Women CEOs is about 12.9%, better than the average of Europe which is around 7.8%. IRC Global Executive Search Partners (IRC) has surveyed and interviewed CEOs across 40 countries as a part of its study ‘The DNA of CEOs’ – it is about the state of women CEOs in each countries.
The report breaks many myths and reveals that there are more women CEOs in Asia than in Europe.
In Asia and Australia the percentage of women CEOs is 11.8%, while in the Europe and the US it is only 7.8%. Countries like Singapore, Vietnam, and Philippines lead with women achievers where a quarter of their businesses are lead by them.
India fares much than European countries. India’s women CEO percentage is 12.9%, while women CEOs in countries like UK, Italy, France, Spain hover around 9%. The global average of women CEOs is below 10%.
In the West, Sweden is the only country where the average is 15%. Austria and Germany fare quite badly with just 4% of their top leaders being women.
Of the women leaders surveyed, about 30% are leading the Services Business, followed by 23% in the Retail sector. Banking and Financial Sectors attract 17% Women CEOs, while Healthcare has 13% women leaders.
The reason behind such less women CEOs vary from country-wise, but there are certain fundamental factors which are universal. The one-fourth respondents of the survey felt women with greater responsibilities – having to take care of family and children – reaches a crisis point where it starts to impact their professional growth. And the pressure keeps on rising as they get meatier roles at the top. About 23% of the CEOs surveyed felt that the decision not to pursue their career ambitions is made by the women themselves. The inherent stress that comes with leadership roles make it impossible for women to stick on to their high-pressurised job. Their aggression, drive and commitment to career growth slow down as personal life takes centre-stage.
Only 20% respondents feel that the growth and choices are governed by cultural and historical factors and well-entrenched biases (but unwritten ones) prevalent in the societies they work in. It is indicating to the fact that the role of women at the higher levels of organizations is in transition and is growing steadily. The percentage of Women at the CXO level is higher, but still substantially lower than men. Almost 18% of the CEOs felt the tapering-off of women professionals starts at the sub-CXO level. Thus, there is a talent-shortfall of competent women when selections of the CEOs take place.
The Study was conducted in the last four months by IRC Global Executive Search Partners - India and Synergy Consultants