Grant Thornton’s Women in Business International Business Report, released this week, shows that the percentage of businesses in Botswana with at least one woman in senior management stands at 72%, a step closer to the global percentage of 87%.
The latest levels are an increase of 12% from last year’s survey. The research states that overall, women now hold 29% of senior leadership positions globally. While this is only up 10% over the past 15 years of research, half this increase (five percent) has been achieved in the last 12 months alone.
Lorato Mosetlhanyane who is a Professional Integral Coach (PCC) at PinnaLead said the figures were encouraging and a strong indication that gender parity is starting to be taken seriously by businesses.
“External factors such as increasing organisational transparency, gender pay gap reporting and highly visible public dialogue like the #MeToo movement appear to be making businesses wake up to the change that is needed,” she said. While the number of women in senior leadership is increasing, gender parity at the head of the table is still a significant way off.
The percentage of women in senior management in Botswana stands at 38%, an increase from last year’s 33%. When it comes to the role of CEO or managing director, only six percent of businesses in
Rebecca Sanchez, who was recently promoted as an Associate Director at Grant Thornton, said despite the strong business case in favour of gender diversity, change at the top has been slow until now.
“Hopefully, the sharp increase in the representation of women in senior leadership we’re seeing this year is not purely an immediate reaction to what is currently happening in the social media and we’ll see steady progress in the coming years.
“If we want to continue seeing female representation trend upwards in senior positions, more deliberate action needs to be taken and leaders will play a critical role. Policies that address equal opportunity in career development, bias in recruitment and flexible working can’t just be a ‘nice to have’”.
She added that to achieve meaningful progress, these policies must be adhered to, enforced and regularly revisited to assess their effectiveness and when that is combined with real commitment from senior leadership, a truly inclusive culture is created.