• Women in leadership


21st December, 2021

Women are grossly underrepresented in business leadership globally. The lack of women in leadership roles negatively impacts
company performance, productivity, and profitability which, in turn, constrains private sector development and economic growth. Greater gender diversity in leadership delivers commercial benefits for companies through a better mix of leadership skills, wider pool of talent, a better reflection of consumers and improved corporate governance. Despite the well-documented benefits, women hold, on average, just 16.9% of board seats, 5.3% of board chair positions, and 4.4% of chief executive officer (CEO) positions globally.

For women in the Pacific, gaining access to leadership positions can be particularly challenging. The region is characterized by small private sectors, significant gender disparities in overall labor force participation and cultural traditions that value men’s leadership abilities. The region’s extremely low representation of women in politics combined with social norms that can discriminate against women have led many to conclude that the Pacific is a region where women have limited opportunity to take on leadership and decision-making roles.

Leadership Matters: Benchmarking Women’s Business Leadership in the Pacific examines women’s leadership beyond the political sphere, focusing on business and the private sector. The study collects and analyzes women’s business leadership data across the 14 Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank. It establishes a baseline for women’s representation in senior business leadership and compares its findings against the global averages and the rate of women’s political leadership in the Pacific.

The report aims to provide data and guidance for private sector businesses and organizations, civil society, development partners, and governments to develop and implement evidence-based policy and practices to increase women’s leadership in business and, ultimately, women’s leadership in all aspects of society.

The study includes available data on the composition of boards and/or senior management of 274 organizations, across five
categories— industry associations, publicly listed companies (PLCs), regional private sector organizations, other private sector organizations, such as retirement funds, non-listed companies, and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).1 The study sample does not include multinational organizations with global boards, family-owned businesses or business activity in the informal sector as the primary purpose is to document the extent of local leadership opportunities in the formal sector. Data was collected primarily through a desk-based review of publicly available information. Data are presented regionally and by country, and broken down by economic sector, organization type, and the different types of leadership.

The study’s findings suggest that the business community in the Pacific offers greater opportunities for women to take on leadership roles than the political sphere. According to the data collected, the proportion of women as board directors in the Pacific is higher than women members of Parliament (MPs) in 13 of 14 DMCs, while the proportion of women CEOs is higher than women MPs in 10.

Women’s representation in business leadership in the Pacific also compares favorably with global averages. In the Pacific, on average, women hold 21% of board seats, 11% of board chair positions, and 19% of deputy board chair roles. In senior management, women comprise 13% of CEOs and 34% of chief financial officers and/or chief operating officers. 27% of all Pacific boards have more than 30% women directors, and of those, 11% have at least equal numbers of men and women directors. However, more than 30% of all boards in the sample have no women directors and a further 41% have fewer than 30% women directors.

The proportion of women in leadership roles varies considerably by country, organization type, and sector. The Cook Islands, Palau,Samoa, and Tuvalu stand out as having higher proportions of women directors and CEOs than most countries in the region. Among the sample’s five categories of organization type, industry associations, such as chambers of commerce, have the highest averagerepresentation of women. In industry associations, women comprise 26% of board chairs, 50% of deputy chairs, 35% of directors, and 53% of CEOs. By sector, tourism is the only sector to exceed the Pacific regional average in every category of leadership, with women comprising 18% of board chairs, 60% of deputy chairs, 28% of directors, and 50% of CEOs.
1 Government-owned and controlled, state-owned enterprises are included in the study as they are amongst the largest commercial entities in most Pacific countries and for their importance as employers. Similarly, regulatory bodies, such as central banks are included because of their significant role in setting the frameworks for business.
To read more click on the link: https://pngbcfw.org/media/pages/resources/articles/leadership-matters-benchmarking-women-in-business-leadership-in-the-pacific/4d02c54f88-1640147152/2021-psdi-report-leadershipmatters.pdf.