Carey van Vlaanderen is chief executive of ESET South Africa.
CAPE TOWN - According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, "Women in Business: New perspectives on risk and reward", based on its annual survey of 5 500 businesses in 36 economies, 28% of senior management roles in South African businesses are held by women in 2017.

“While this is an improvement from last year’s level of 23%, it is concerning that this number has not improved beyond 29% in all the 13 years since we started doing this survey,” said Christelle Grohmann, a director of advisory services at Grant Thornton. 

The research also shows this is a global phenomenon. Female representation in senior management has a long way to go in North America (23%), the G7 economies (22%) and developed economies in Asia Pacific (13%).

South Africa compares favourably, with only 31% of businesses having no women in senior management, down from 39% last year. However, 2017’s level is concerning.

Grohmann believes there is a clear business case for having more women in leadership.

Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR). Its IBR provides insight into the views and expectations of more than 100 00 businesses per year across 36 economies. This unique survey draws upon 22 years of trend data.