Women in Business and Management: Gaining momentum

This report brings together available data and ILO statistics to provide a comprehensive, up to-date and global picture of women in the business world and in management positions.

As women overtake men in education, they are running a third of the world’s businesses. However, women business owners are concentrated in small and micro-businesses, and still only 5 per cent or less of CEOs of the largest global corporations are women. This report highlights the business case for gender diversity and the obstacles women still face as well as ways to move ahead, underlining the fact that women’s presence in the labour market is increasingly significant for economic growth and development at both enterprise and national levels. It advocates for a greater role for national business organizations, which can assist their member companies with putting in place policies and measures to recruit and retain talent. The report also shows that women still have to deal with a number of hurdles to reach positions as CEOs and company board members. While women have advanced in business and management, they continue to be shut out of higher level economic decision-making despite activism in the last decade to smash the “glass ceiling”. The report calls for a closer examination of the career paths of women and men to ensure that subtle gender biases are eliminated, proposing an array of initiatives that challenge gender stereotypes and corporate cultures, and that seek to reconcile work and family responsibilities.