Women are moving up in the workplace but not nearly as far nor as fast as they should be, according to Mercer’s second annual When Women Thrive report.
According to the report, released on 27 January, if organisations maintain the current rate of progress when it comes to gender equity, female representation in the professional and managerial ranks will reach only 40 per cent globally by 2025.
"The traditional methods of advancing women aren't moving the needle, and under-representation of women around the world has become an economic and social travesty," says Pat Milligan, Mercer's global leader of When Women Thrive.
"While leaders have been focusing on women at the top, they’re largely ignoring the female talent pipelines so critical to maintaining progress.
"This is a call-to-action – every organisation has a choice to stay with the status quo or drive their growth, communities and economies through the power of women."
Women’s representation within organisations declines as career levels rise – from support
staff through to the executive level.
According to the When Women Thrive report, women make up 40% of the average company’s workforce. Globally, they represent 33% of managers, 26% of senior managers, and 20% of executives.
'Failure to build talent pipelines threatens women’s future progress in the workplace' - Mercer's When Women Thrive global report
Women are 1.5 times more likely than men to be hired at the executive level, but they are also leaving organisations from the highest rank at 1.3 times the rate of men, undermining gains at the top.
Latin America is the only region on track to achieve near gender parity at the professional level and above by 2025 with a projected increase in women’s representation from 36% in 2015 to 49%.
Australia and New Zealand are projected to improve gender parity rates of 40% by 2025, up from 35% in 2015.
The US/Canada are set to improve by just 1% from 39% to 40% while Europe will remain flat at 37%.
‘Under-representation of women around the world has become an economic and social travesty’ - Mercer's When Women Thrive global report
"In 10 years, organisations won’t even be close to gender equality in most regions of the world," Ms Milligan says. "If CEOs want to drive their growth tomorrow through diversity, they need to take action today."
The research, the most comprehensive of its kind featuring input from nearly 600 organisations around the world, employing 3.2 million people, including 1.3 million women, identifies a host of key drivers known to improve diversity and inclusion efforts.
Read more about Mercer’s When Women Thrive initiative and access the report summary.