Although they remain in the minority, there are more and more women at the helm of companies around the world, according to a study published last week by the youth leaders’ organization YPO, the Financial Times and UN Women.
Of the more than 2,000 responses from 106 countries obtained from among the nearly 30,000 YPO members in March, the majority (57%) considered that “their organization is more diverse in terms of gender than five years ago.”
Latin America setting the example
Latin America is one of the regions of the world where companies have made the most progress in terms of gender, along with the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, the study points out.
“I see a strong awareness of everyone that things have to be changed,” Xavier Mufraggi, CEO of YPO, said. There is also, according to him, “an awareness of the management style that women bring with a more holistic approach to leadership, which is more in tune with the new generations.”
However, progress is slow to materialize
According to another recent Heidrick & Struggles study cited by YPO, “only 5% of CEOs worldwide are currently women.” The situation is hardly more balanced in the United States, where only 6% of the 500 companies in the Standard and Poor’s index are run by women.
According to the study, almost one in two female business managers say they have had to overcome prejudice, and women take an average of two years longer than men to reach the top of the business pyramid.
Mufraggi points out that the widespread European practice of mentoring, which has long been common in the United States, is making it easier for women to rise to the forefront of companies.
Likewise, the flexibility of work models, with the widespread adoption of teleworking, also contributes to promoting greater gender equality after the health crisis, he stressed. To continue on this path, the study advocates creating training against prejudice, hiring more women and promoting equal pay.