Women in managerial and leadership positions in the G20 - Data availability and preliminary findings

Stocktaking report prepared for the Empowerment and Progression of Women's Economic Representation (EMPOWER) under the Saudi G20 Presidency

This report takes stock of the existing data and the data required to track progress towards achieving gender parity in managerial and leadership positions and presents some preliminary findings.

The report highlights significant data gaps as well as the need for a better harmonisation of data amongst G20 countries. Both issues need to be addressed in order to better track progress and enable evidence-based decision making. The report further shows that only limited progress has been made in terms of women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership positions in the world of work over the past 10 years. None of the countries with available data reaches the target of 50 per cent of women in senior and middle management positions (indicator 5.5.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)). The share of women in managerial positions is particularly low in occupations that are traditionally dominated by men. Overall, the public sector seems to provide more management opportunities for women than the private sector.

The COVID-19 crisis risks eroding some of the gains in gender equality that have been achieved in G20 labour markets over recent years. This is not inevitable if decisive action is taken. The private sector has a large range of opportunities to foster gender parity in managerial positions and hence drive progress towards in that regard. An inclusive business culture starts with a gender-balanced workforce and includes a critical mass of women in management, senior leadership and on boards of directors (i.e. of at least 30 per cent). In addition, gender-inclusive policies and practices are needed to ensure equal opportunities for both women and men, and to address any kind of discrimination or bias, including regarding pay levels and employment conditions. Targeted policies regarding flexible working hours and paternity leave can further lead to greater inclusivity and work-life balance for both men and women.