But there is still a lot of work to be done and certain parts of the world fare much better than others. Women’s status in society, levels of education, work life balance legislation, attitudes to hierarchy and power and economic stability all contribute to the vary degrees of women’s success in business around the world and across different cultures.
Where is the Glass Ceiling Highest?
One obvious measure is perhaps the number of women holding seats in the boardroom. The global average per country is about 19% with Japan struggling with only 3% and Norway at the opposite end with 35.5% of boardroom seats at listed companies held by women. This is in large part due to the fact that Norway was the first European country to legislate for boardroom quotas. Since 2003 the law has required 40% of boardroom seats to be held by women and there are harsh penalties for companies that do not comply. Other European countries including France, Spain and the Netherlands followed suit but boardroom quotas have been contentious in the US, the UK and other European countries with the suggestion that forcing the free market would have a negative impact on company performance. While in fact numerous studies have shown the positive impact on performance of more women in the boardroom. Most recently Germany has legislated for boardroom quotas and will require 30% of seats to be filled by women from the start of 2016.