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Latest Report From Kearney Analyzes Diversity in the Public and Private Sectors  | HR Technologist

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Analysis from global consultancy partnership Kearney has found that a total of only 16 (15%) women hold C-Suite or Chairperson positions in the S&P 100 index. This outcome is significantly lower than the equivalent indices in other markets such as the UK where the FTSE 100’s C-Suite is 28% female. Though the number of these top-level roles is lower than in other regions, the report showed that almost a third (29%) of the S&P 100’s total 1,243 board members are now women.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Kearney’s report The leadership gap: a study of four nations set out to establish the current progress of diversity in board leadership across four key regions globally – the USA, UK, Australia, and India. The report looked at both the private and public sectors; in the latter, nearly a quarter (24%) of Members of Congress in the United States are women, again lower than the global equivalents assessed.

The firm also examined which sectors were the most progressive when it comes to female leadership. Technology firms took the lead in the S&P 100 with a quarter (25%) of C-Suite or equivalent board positions held by women, followed by Consumer (19%), Energy and Utilities (19%), Finance (19%) and Industrials (19%) companies. On the other end of the scale, the Healthcare and Non-Energy Materials sectors have no women in board roles at all.

Out of the four markets analyzed, Australia came out as the most gender diverse for both the public and private sectors, at 37% female representation in the public sector, and 33% in the private sector. Meanwhile, the US polled second-last overall, with 24% representation in the public sector and 29% in the private sector. Again, Australia was comparatively advanced compared with the US when the number of women in top board positions was measured as a percentage of total female board members, scoring 9% against the US’s 5%.

Notes Beth Sehgal, Kearney’s Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion, comments, “Despite having, arguably, the most developed economy in the world, the U.S. has performed lower than perhaps expected for diversity across the categories we’ve looked at. In other markets, businesses have been more progressive in cultivating diversity, and for good reason; the best talent expects inclusive representation at the highest level. These outcomes suggest perhaps too much focus has been given to fostering diversity at the lower end of the career ladder, rather than the top. But a board with varied perspectives means risks and opportunities are anticipated in a way that non-diverse boards aren’t able to. Inclusive executive boards are simply essential for truly understanding the complex, dynamic needs of modern businesses.”

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