What’s the situation like?
While it’s hugely positive that women are in senior roles at more businesses, it’s disappointing that they are being spread so thinly. This means many businesses will not gain from the benefits of real diversity. (Women in business: beyond policy to progress, 2018)
According to the report by Grant Thornton, Africa tops the world in gender diversity performance.
The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) is the world’s leading mid-market business survey, interviewing approximately 2,500 senior executives every quarter in listed and privately-held companies all over the world.
The findings in this report are drawn from 4,995 interviews conducted between July and December 2017 with chief executive officers, managing directors, chairs, and other senior decision-makers from all industry sectors in mid-market businesses in 35 countries. A further 14 in-depth interviews were conducted with business leaders from inside and outside Grant Thornton.
Nigeria has 95% of businesses with at least one woman in senior management and hit a new high in terms of the proportion of senior roles held by women (30%). South Africa on the other hand hit a new high of 80% of businesses with at least one woman in senior management and the highest proportion of senior roles held by women in a decade at 29%.
These are the two large economies in Africa alongside Egypt, for them, having women in senior positions is important.
Having women in senior and/or executive positions has always been a global discussion that seeks to eradicate gender biasness in organisations.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum states the following;
“Political Empowerment is where the gender gap remains the widest: only 23% of the political gap—unchanged since last year (2017)—has been closed, and no country has yet fully closed political empowerment gaps. Even the best performer in this subindex, Iceland, still exhibits a gap of 33%, and this gap has widened significantly over the past year (2017). Just six other countries (Nicaragua, Norway, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Finland and Sweden) have closed at least 50% of their gap. On the other end of the spectrum, almost one-quarter of the countries assessed has closed less than 10% of their gender gap, and the four worst-performing countries—Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman and Yemen—have yet to bridge over 97% of their gap.”
Politics is where the loudest voices of the country are usually heard. This is where many of the things that affect a country take place. If women are going to have a voice in making the world a better place, just like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, political organisations, especially in the upper level is where they should be heading.
Mduduzi Mbiza is a writer, content strategist, researcher, consultant and author of the book, ‘Human Education: The Voyage of Discovery’. He has contributed his articles on education to Daily Maverick, The South African, Voice360 and EduOne.