Women in Business report, 2017

New perspectives on risk and reward

Africa is significantly ahead of the global average of 25% of senior roles held by women and 34% of businesses with no women in senior management.

In 2017, leadership teams are grappling with new conditions of global risk. With few predicting the happenings of recent years, businesses are striving to prepare for the further possibility of inconceivable events.

But businesses should do more than just react to the challenges of our time. As they respond, they must also consider opportunities that promote long-term growth.

Despite evidence that links diversity and improved performance, the dial on gender diversity in leadership is shifting at a painfully slow rate. Grant Thornton’s IBR research reveals that the proportion of women in senior leadership roles has hit 25%. However, this is an increase of just one percent since 2016, and six percent in the 13 years since the research began.

The research also reveals that men and women perceive risk and opportunity in different ways, and that they act differently as a result. Brought together, these diverse perspectives facilitate effective risk strategies for the sustainable growth of dynamic businesses.

Companies need to be more productive, more innovative and in many ways more open if they are to thrive. Therefore in this report, we provide a range of recommendations to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles for the benefit of businesses as a whole, and risk strategies in particular. 

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"Over the last 13 years, the global number of women in leadership has grown by about 6%. This is encouraging to note that women are more and more occupying positions in senior management, though much still needs to be done to ensure that the efforts of women are recognized and rewarded accordingly." Tatenda Zimondi, Director, Grant Thornton Kenya.