Daily Management Review

Mercer: Gender Equality Is Unattainable in 10 Years


Women are not sufficiently engaged in the labor force around the world. If employers keep the current level of progress in this environment, women will occupy only 40% of managerial and professional positions by 2025, according to the second annual report ‘When Women Thrive’, which has been drawn up by one of the largest consultancies in the field of HR.

craftivist collective via flickr
craftivist collective via flickr
One of the key findings occurred in the report is that number of women in companies decreases with every step of the career ladder - from servitorial staff to management positions.

"Traditional methods of promotion do not work for women, and lack of their participation in the labor force across the world is an economic and social parody, - said Pat Milligan, author of When Women Thrive.

Despite the fact that corporate leaders come to think about increasing number of women in top management, they ignore a promising talent pool among women, which is necessary to maintain progress. This is a call to action - each company has a choice: to maintain the status quo or to maintain growth with help of women."

In its report, Mercer notes that women are 1.5 times more likely to be employed in managerial positions. At the time, they are also 1.3 times more likely to leave the highest positions, compared to men.

According to When Women Thrive, women make up average 40% of the workforce in a company. Worldwide, women hold 33% of positions of managers, 26% of senior managers, 20% of managerial staff.

If we talk about specific regions, the proportion of women in the labor force in Latin America is projected to grow from 36% in 2015 to 49% in 2025.

In Australia and New Zealand, the number will increase from 35% to 40%. In the US and Canada, the situation will improve only by 1% from 39% to 40%. The proportion will remain unchanged in Europe – the same 37% in 2015 and in 2025. In Asia, the ratio will be 28% in 2025, compared to 25% in 2015

"After 10 years, the organizations will not even come close to gender equality in most regions of the world, - says Milligan. - If CEOs want to promote their growth in the future due to diversity, they need to take action today."

This study is the most comprehensive in its field, it was attended by nearly 600 organizations around the world employing 3.2 million people, including 1.3 million women.

The study was conducted in order to identify key factors of development needed to enhance diversity and interaction.

"It is not enough to create a temporary assistance program, - says Brian Levine, an analyst at the Mercer. - Most companies do not work on the creation of long-term personnel reserve, neither their work to develop practice and culture of support, which is necessary to ensure success of women in these organizations."

Only 9% of organizations in the world are providing retirement and savings programs the best possible for women. Countries such as the USA and Canada (14%) are leading by this indicator now.

Key findings of the study:

- Only 57% of organizations say that their leadership is taking steps to increase diversity and interaction; the United States and Canada are the leaders in this field;

- Latin America is a leader in the recruitment of women to middle administrative level positions: the figure here is 51% compared to 39% worldwide;

- Only 29% of organizations do review performance evaluations by gender, the leaders are Australia and New Zealand;

- The US and Canada are leaders in pay equity: 40% of organizations there have a wage equalization technology as compared to 34% globally, 25% in Asia, 28% in Europe. However, virtually no improvement in 2014 has happen;

- It is believed that women have unique qualities needed in today's market: flexibility and adaptability (39% vs. 20% that claim that these qualities are inherent to men), inclusive command control (43% vs. 20%), emotional intelligence (24% vs 5 %);

- The US and Canada are leaders on parameters such as provision of education and staff training, support staff on leave for child care, and provision of individual pension and savings programs by gender;

- About half of the organizations in three key regions - Asia, the US and Canada, and Latin America - agree that support for women's health is an important factor to attract and retain women in the labor force, but only 22% of organizations have carried out an analysis to determine gender specific health needs among staff.

In addition, the organizations were ask questions about the key benefits programs, including part-time, leave to care for the child for both mother and father, preschool child care, care for the older generation, mentoring programs, and others.