Glass ceil­ing still not shat­tered

Finweek English Edition - - BUSINESS TRENDS -

WHILE STRIDES have been made, women’s pro­gres­sion into po­si­tions of lead­er­ship in com­pa­nies re­mains mi­nus­cule. The Busi­ness Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion (BWA) sug­gests it will take be­tween 20 and 40 years for women to reach par­ity with men as di­rec­tors on cor­po­rate boards and in ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment. How­ever, South African women are ad­vanc­ing faster than their coun­ter­parts in lead­ing de­vel­oped na­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the BWA’s Women in Lead­er­ship Cen­sus, the num­ber of fe­male di­rec­tors of JSE-listed com­pa­nies in­creased from 14,6% to 16,6% be­tween 2008 and 2009. SA has over­taken the US For­tune 500 at 15,2% fe­male di­rec­tors and Canada’s FP500 at 13%. Trail­ing be­hind is Bri­tain’s FTSE 100 at 12,2% and Aus­tralia’s ASX at 8,3%.

“While SA may be pro­gress­ing faster than other coun­tries, the ac­tual num­ber of women di­rec­tors and ex­ec­u­tives re­mains small and the rate of change is mi­nus­cule,” says San­dra Burmeis­ter, CEO of ex­ec­u­tive search firm Lan­de­lahni Re­cruit­ment Group. “The good news is that com­pa­nies with no fe­male di­rec­tors dropped from to 33,4% to 21,5% in one year. That com­pares with the For­tune 500, where com­pa­nies with no fe­male di­rec­tors de­creased slightly to 12,3%, with the FTSE100 lag­ging at 25%.”

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