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Deloitte Global, in collaboration with The 30% Club, today published the seventh edition of Women in the boardroom: A global perspective. The latest edition of the report reveals that women hold just 19.7% of board seats globally, an increase of 2.8% since the last edition of the report, published in 2019. pace, the world could expect to reach near parity in 2045 compared to 2052 as predicted in the previous edition.

The latest edition reveals that the eight major regions (North America, Latin and South America, Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Australasia) have at least 10% of seats on the board of directors occupied by women.

This year, Deloitte Global partnered with The 30% Club, whose mission is to achieve at least 30% representation of women on boards and in senior management positions among all listed companies.

The latest edition of the report includes updates from 72 countries on women’s representation on corporate boards, exploring the political, social and legislative trends behind these figures.

Disproportionate progress in leadership positions

While the global representation of women on corporate boards has increased slightly in 2021, progress at the chairman and CEO levels is less apparent, underscoring the idea that getting more women on boards doesn’t necessarily equate to moving up in leadership positions.

The latest research found that only 6.7% of board chairs are women, representing an increase of just 1.4% from 2018. Even fewer women – 5% – hold the position of CEO, which represents an increase of only 0.6% compared to 2018.

However, Deloitte Global research found a positive correlation between female CEO leadership and board diversity. Companies led by women have significantly more women on their boards of directors than those led by men, at 33.5% versus 19.4%, respectively. The statistics are similar for companies whose presidents are women (30.8% of women on the boards of directors against 19.4%, respectively). The reverse is also true, with mixed boards more likely to appoint a female CEO and board chair.

Progress in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asian countries included in this report are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and they have collectively fared better with an average of 17.1% women in office. Board of Directors, up from 14.3% in 2018. This outperforms the Asian average of 11.7% and is close to the global average of 19.7%.

In terms of percentage change, the region recorded an increase of 2.7% compared to 2018, which is consistent with the increase of 2.8% globally. Malaysia (3.4%), the Philippines (3.8%), Singapore (3.9%) and Thailand (3.6%) recorded better percentage increases, surpassing the global figure, while the Indonesia recorded a decline of 1.0%.

The research showed polarizing results where even though 6.0% of board chairmen are women in Southeast Asia, the percentage change is more widely dispersed. More importantly, Indonesia recorded a negative variation of 2.4%, and Malaysia and Thailand recorded positive variations of 2.6% and 1.2% respectively.

By comparison, when looking at CEO positions held by women, Singapore (13.1%) and Thailand (11.6%) rank first and third, respectively, among the countries surveyed.

The top five countries
Percentage of board seats held by women Percentage of CEO positions held by women
The country Percentage % change The country Percentage % change
France 43.2 5.9 Singapore 13.1 3.2
Norway 42.4 1.4 Sweden 12.4 2.1
Italy 36.6 7.3 Thailand 11.6 1.9
Belgium 34.9 4.3 Ireland 11.5 3.7
Sweden 34.7 1.4 France 9.7 3.5

Source: Women on the Board: A Global Perspective, 7and edition (2022)

These results confirm that while women’s participation on boards in the region has increased since 2018, the perception and perhaps acceptance of women in leadership positions on boards varies significantly from area to area. geographic to another.

Women’s tenure on boards in Southeast Asia has held steady or declined, with average tenure falling most sharply in Singapore, from 5.0 years to 4.4 years. The percentage change for tenure also decreased for Malaysia and the Philippines, which could be due to the larger pool of female candidates in these countries as the overall participation of women on boards increased.

“2022 could be a year of opportunity for the appointment of more women to boards as companies reassess their board needs in a post-pandemic business climate.” Said Seah Gek ChooCorporate Governance Center Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia

“Institutional support, in areas such as equal pay and flexible working arrangements, as well as mentoring and sponsorship programs for women, are essential to accelerating progress towards having more women in jobs. leadership positions. At Deloitte, we help advance gender parity in leadership roles through our Board-ready Women program, which aims to encourage greater representation of women on boards by preparing qualified female executives serving on the board of directors and laying the groundwork for future placements in public positions and boards of directors of private companies,” continues Gek Choo.

Other key findings from the report reveal additional challenges for women on boards

Fewer women sit on more boards. Deloitte Global’s Stretch Factor measure looks at the number of board seats an individual holds in a particular market. The higher the stretch factor, the higher the number of board seats held by the same director in a given market.

  • In 2021, the stretch factor for women increased slightly from the 2018 figure from 1.26 to 1.30, indicating that – compared to men – a smaller group of women occupy a large number of seats in the board of directors. Men, in comparison, have a stretch factor of 1.17.
  • Countries with the highest stretch factor for women – Australia (1.43), US (1.33) and New Zealand (1.32) – have all avoided quotas in favor of approaches voluntary such as non-binding targets. Meanwhile, the European countries that were the first to adopt the quotas have much lower stretch factors for female directors, some equal to those for men globally.
  • In Southeast Asia, the stretch factor is 1.17 for women, which is an increase from 2018, meaning women are now holding more and more leadership positions in the region.

To read the full report, go here.

Joel C. Hicks