Skip to content
Articles
Qualify leads and find more ways to connect 
Expand your reach and mitigate risk
Published by: Maeen Shaban
Published on:

A Breakdown of Gender Diversity by Region

Published by: Maeen Shaban
Published on:
An in depth look into the gender diversity of the Global 20, analyzing how gender diversity is improving and recent leadership trends around the globe.

As organizations continue to adapt to the rapidly evolving workforce, developing and improving the gender diversity of their staff remains of the utmost importance, particularly at the most senior executive levels.

This Q&A-style article leverages BoardEx data and breaks down Altrata’s Global Gender Diversity 2023 report. Focusing on listed companies across 20 major economies around the world, it examines how gender diversity is improving, as well as analyzing leadership trends throughout the globe. The data refer to Q1 2023 and to a country’s major index of listed companies (for example the S&P 500 in the US and the FTSE 100 in the UK). References to percentage change refer to percentage point differences year on year, not the rate of change. For general definitions see the last section of this article.

In a rush? Skip to the region you are interested in.

What is the Global 20?

  • The Global 20 is a select group of 20 of the world’s major economies. It is comprised of Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and the US. References to the Global 20 include the companies that make up the major indices of these 20 countries.
Global 20 Overview:
20 Countries 
1712 major publicly traded companies 
29486 individuals

What is the percentage of women on boards in the Global 20?

  • Within the Global 20, 30% of all board members are female.

What is the percentage of females on leadership teams within the Global 20?

  • Within the Global 20, 20.5% of all leadership team members are female.
Gender diversity across the global 20 chart

What is the percentage of females holding a non-executive director position?

  • Within the Global 20, 33.9% of non-executive directors are women.

What is the percentage of females holding an executive director position?

  • Within the Global 20, 10.5% of executive directors are women.
Global 20, women on boards chart

What is the percentage of females holding the position of CEO?

  • Within the Global 20, 6.4% of CEOs are women.

 What is the percentage of females holding the position of chair?

  • Within the Global 20, 9.5% of chairs are women.

Of companies with a female CEO, what is the percentage of women on the board?

  • Within the Global 20, women account for 37.9% of the boards of such companies.

Of companies with a female CEO, what is the percentage of women on the leadership team?

  • Within the Global 20, women account for 35.1% of the leadership teams of such companies.

Of companies with a female chair, what is the percentage of women on the board?

  • Within the Global 20, women account for 37.9% of the boards of such companies.

Of companies with a female chair, what is the percentage of the leadership team that is female?

  • Within the Global 20, 29.3% of the leadership team are women in such companies.
Global 20, women as CEO/chair chart

By Region

Europe

France

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in France?

  • 43.7% of board seats are held by women in France. This is a 0.3% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in France?

  • In France, 15.4% of all executive directors are held by women. This is a 5.4% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in France?

  • In France, 47.3% of all non-executive directors are held by women. This is a 1.3% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in France?

  • 26.4% of leadership teams are held by women in France. This is a 4.3% increase from 2022.

Germany

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Germany?

  • 33.2% of board seats are held by women in Germany. This is a 2.2% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Germany?

  • In Germany, 22.3% of all executive directors are women. This is a 3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Germany?

  • In Germany, 37.2% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 1.5% increase from 2022.

Ireland

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Ireland?

  • 36% of board seats are held by women in Ireland. This is a 3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Ireland?

  • In Ireland, 12.5% of all executive directorships are held by women. This is a 1.4% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Ireland?

  • In Ireland, 42% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 4.3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Ireland?

  • Women account for 24.4% of leadership team positions in Ireland. This is a 2.1% decrease from 2022.

Italy

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Italy?

  • 40.7% of board seats are held by women in Italy. This is a 0.9% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Italy?

  • In Italy, 4.5% of all executive directorships are held by women. This is a 2.9% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Italy?

  • In Italy, 47.2% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 0.2% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Italy?

  • Women account for 14.3% of leadership team positions in Italy. This is a 2% increase from 2022.

The Netherlands

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in the Netherlands?

  • 36.8% of board seats are held by women in the Netherlands. This is a 1.5% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in the Netherlands?

  • In the Netherlands, 18.3% of all executive directorships are held by women. This is a 1% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in the Netherlands?

  • In the Netherlands, 44% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 1.4% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in the Netherlands?

  • Women account for 22.9% of leadership team positions in the Netherlands. This is a 0.2% increase from 2022.

Russia

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Russia?

  • 13.9% of board seats are held by women in Russia. This is a 1.2% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Russia?

  • In Russia, 15% of all executive directors are women. This is a 3.3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Russia?

  • In Russia, 13.5% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 0.5% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Russia?

  • Women account for 15.4% of leadership team positions in Russia. This is a 0.1% decrease from 2022.

Spain

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Spain?

  • 37% of board seats are held by women in Spain. This is a 2.3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Spain?

  • In Spain, 6.7% of all executive directors are women. This is a 2% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Spain?

  • In Spain, 42% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 2% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Spain?

  • 19.2% of leadership team positions are held by women in Spain. This is a 2.1% increase from 2022.

Sweden

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Sweden?

  • 36.3% of board seats are held by women in Sweden. This is a 0.1% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Sweden?

  • In Sweden, 11.1% of all executive directors are women. This is the same proportion as in 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Sweden?

  • In Sweden, 37.9% of all non-executive directors are women. This is the same proportion as in 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Sweden?

  • 29.4% of leadership team positions are held by women in Sweden. This is a 2.5% increase from 2022.

Switzerland

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Switzerland?

  • 34.6% of board seats are held by women in Switzerland. This is a 4.2% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Switzerland?

  • In Switzerland, 36.5% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 4.3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Switzerland?

  • 25.4% of leadership team positions are held by women in Switzerland. This is a 3.2% increase from 2022.

The UK

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in the UK?

  • 40.4% of board seats are held by women in the UK. This is a 0.6% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in the UK?

  • In the UK, 15.9% of all executive directors are women. This is a 2.4% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in the UK?

  • In the UK, 46.5% of all non-executive director positions are held by women. This is a 0.1% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in the UK?

  • Women account for 27.9% of leadership team roles in the UK. This is a 3.4% increase from 2022.

North America

Canada

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Canada?

  • 36.9% of board seats are held by women in Canada. This is a 2.5% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Canada?

  • In Canada, 2.6% of all executive directors are women. This is a 4.1% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Canada?

  • In Canada, 41% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 3.3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Canada?

  • 21.9% of leadership team positions are held by women in Canada. This is a 0.2% decrease from 2022.

US

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in the US?

  • 32.7% of board seats are held by women in the United States. This is a 1.6% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in the US?

  • In the US, 7.7% of all executive directors are women. This is a 0.9% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in the US?

  • In the US, 35.8% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 1.6% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in the US?

  • Women account for 26.8% of leadership team positions in the US. This is a 1.1% increase from 2022.

Latin America

Brazil

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Brazil?

  • 18.2% of board seats are held by women in Brazil. This is a 3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Brazil?

  • In Brazil, 8.1% of all executive directors are women. This is a 5.1% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Brazil?

  • In Brazil, 19.2% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 2.7% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Brazil?

  • 13.9% of leadership team roles are held by women in Brazil. This is a 1.4% increase from 2022.

Africa

South Africa

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in South Africa?

  • 35.2% of board seats are held by women in South Africa. This is a 1.4% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in South Africa?

  • In South Africa, 20.3% of all executive directors are held by women. This is the same proportion as in 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in South Africa?

  • In South Africa, 38.6% of all non-executive directorships are held by women. This is a 1.4% increase from 2022. 

What percentage of leadership teams are female in South Africa?

  • 23.6% of leadership team positions are held by women in South Africa. This is a 2.8% increase from 2022.

Asia Pacific and the Middle East

Australia

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Australia?

  • 38.5% of board seats are held by women in Australia. This is a 2.9% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Australia?

  • In Australia, 11.7% of all executive directors are women. This is a 1.9% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Australia?

  • In Australia, 42.7% of all non-executive director positions are held by women. This is a 2.8% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Australia?

  • 31.7% of leadership team roles are held by women in Australia. This is a 2% increase from 2022.

Hong Kong

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Hong Kong?

  • 17.9% of board seats are held by women in Hong Kong. This is a 2.1% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Hong Kong?

  • In Hong Kong, 14.1% of all executive directors are women. This is a 1.5% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Hong Kong?

  • In Hong Kong, 19.9% of all non-executive director positions are held by women. This is a 2.3% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Hong Kong?

  • 18.1% of leadership team positions are held by women in Hong Kong. This is a 0.4% increase from 2022.

India

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in India?

  • 18.9% of board seats are held by women in India. This is a 0.9% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in India?

  • In India, 7.4% of all executive directors are women. This is a 0.8% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in India?

  • In India, 22.9% of all non-executive director positions are held by women. This is a 1.5% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in India?

  • 9.3% of leadership team positions are held by women in India. This is a 0.1% decrease from 2022.

Japan

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Japan?

  • 14.7% of board seats are held by women in Japan. This is a 2.2% increase from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Japan?

  • In Japan, 2.4% of all executive directors are women. This is a 0.7% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Japan?

  • In Japan, 27.2% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 2.7% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Japan?

  • 4.3% of leadership team roles are held by women in Japan. This is a 1.5% increase from 2022.

Singapore

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in Singapore?

  • 24.1% of board seats are held by women in Singapore. This is a 0.1% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of executive directors are female in Singapore?

  • In Singapore, 14% of all executive directors are women. This is a 1.7% decrease from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in Singapore?

  • In Singapore, 26% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 0.5% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in Singapore?

  • 25.8% of leadership team roles are held by women in Singapore. This is a 0.2% decrease from 2022.

UAE

What is the proportion of board seats held by women in the UAE?

  • 9.9% of board seats are held by women in the UAE. This is a 3.6% increase from 2022.

What percentage of non-executive directors are female in the UAE?

  • In the UAE, 10.3% of all non-executive directors are women. This is a 3.6% increase from 2022.

What percentage of leadership teams are female in the UAE?

  • 8.5% of leadership team roles are held by women in the UAE. This is a 0.4% decrease from 2022.

How many 2023 hires were female?

  • Across the Global 20 countries, 19.2% of new appointees to the leadership team in the year up to Q1 2023 were female. This is a lower proportion than the 20.5% among the leadership team as a whole.
2023 Recent hires -leadership team roles held by women chart

What are the top 5 sectors for women within the S&P 500?

  • The top 5 sectors for the highest share of women on leadership teams at companies within the S&P 500 are Utilities, Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, General Retailers, Leisure and Hotels, and Food producers and processors. For more information, download the Global Gender Diversity 2023 report here.

Does a company’s size play into the share of women on leadership teams?

  • The evidence is mixed when looking across countries. In the US and the UK, large, listed companies have a greater share of women in leadership team roles. However, when it comes to privately owned companies, such companies in the US outperform listed ones, though this is not the case in the UK. To learn more, please download the Global Gender Diversity 2023 report.

For women, what is the likelihood of being appointed to the C-suite internally versus externally for women?

  • Internal appointments for women taking up leadership team posts are more common, and even more so among men. Internally appointed leaders will already possess an in-depth knowledge of the business, its financial position and digital-transition status. For more information, and the breakdown of men versus women within the Global 20 countries, please download the Global Gender Diversity 2023 report.
2023 Route to leadership - proportion of internal appointments among the current leadership team chart

Within the S&P 500, what percentage of women hold CHRO positions?

  • 73.3% of CHRO positions in the S&P 500 are held by women.

Within the FTSE 100, what percentage of women hold CHRO positions?

  • 74.5% of CHRO positions in the FTSE 100 are held by women.
CHRO Gender Breakdown - proportion of women chart

Within the S&P 500, what percentage of women hold CMO positions?

  • 48% of CMO positions in the S&P 500 are held by women.

Within the FTSE 100, what percentage of women hold CMO positions?

  • 53.8% of CMO positions in the FTSE 100 are held by women.
CMO Gender Breakdown - proportion of women chart

Within the S&P 500, what percentage of women hold CFO positions?

  • 17.5% of CFO positions in the S&P 500 are held by women.

Within the FTSE 100, what percentage of women hold CFO positions?

  • 18.8% of CFO positions in the FTSE 100 are held by women.
CFO Gender Breakdown - proportion of women chart

 Within the S&P 500, what percentage of women hold COO positions?

  • 12.9% of COO positions in the S&P 500 are held by women.

Within the FTSE 100, what percentage of women hold COO positions?

  • 20% of COO positions in the FTSE 100 are held by women.
COO Gender Breakdown - proportion of women chart

Within the S&P 500, what percentage of women hold CEO positions?

  • 8.2% of CEO positions in the S&P 500 are held by women.

Within the FTSE 100, what percentage of women hold CEO positions?

  • 9.3.% of CEO positions in the FTSE 100 are held by women.
CEO Gender Breakdown - proportion of women chart

What are the top hobbies of female Fortune 500 CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CHROs and CMOs?

  • The top 5 hobbies of today’s female Fortune 500 leaders are travel, mentoring, running, reading and volunteering.
Hobbies - top 5 hobbies among current fortune 500 CEOs, CFO,s COOs, CHROs and CMOs chart

What percentage of women in the S&P 500 are members of a diversity network?

  • 15.4% of women on S&P 500 boards are members of a diversity network, while 7.9% of women on leadership teams within the S&P 500 are members of diversity networks.
Diversity Network - proportion of people in a diversity network among S&P500 companies

General Definitions

How do you define non-executive director?

  • A company’s board of directors typically comprises non-executive directors and executive directors (this can vary by country). Non-executive directors mostly fulfill an oversight role (hence the term “supervisory director” is often used).

How do you define executive director?

  • Executive board members, the most prominent being the chief executive officer (CEO), have real decision-making power in corporations and often command significant resources. Aside from a few exceptions, in most countries executive directors are appointed to the board.

How do you define leadership team?

  • Corporate leadership teams are sometimes referred to as the C-suite, executive committees or management boards. They usually include executive directors — the most prominent of which is the CEO — as well as a corporation’s top layer of management. The leadership team includes executive chairs (but not non-executive chairs).

Which indices are used for this data?

  • Most of our analysis for this article centered on the individuals who make up the boards and leadership teams at the corporations of the major indices across the Global 20 countries.
A description of indices included in the Global Gender Diversity 2023 Report