Just one in seven delegates at the annual World Economic Forum gathering this year was a woman.
This statistic alone explains why the issue of women in businesses inspires so much passion and debate, emphasising that the path from the classroom to the boardroom is anything but straightforward.
Ironically, attendees in Davos looked at the role improved gender balance can have on businesses’ bottom lines, highlighting the example of the car market in which women influence 85% of purchases worldwide. Involving women at all stages of the production process, from design, to engineering, to marketing, could help businesses create products and services that appeal to both genders.
Grant Thornton has been tracking the proportion of women in senior management since 2004 and the research this year finds that the proportion of women in the most senior roles has stagnated at 24% – the same as the result in 2012, 2009 and 2007.
The question this raises is: what are the roadblocks on the path to senior management and what can be done ?
[Words: from the Report Foreward by Francesca Lagerberg, Global leader – tax services, Grant Thornton International Ltd]