IBR

Women in business: New perspectives on risk and reward

Noel Ashpole Noel Ashpole

In 2017, leadership teams are grappling with new conditions of global risk. With few predicting the happenings of recent years, businesses around the world are striving to prepare for the further possibility of inconceivable events.

But businesses should do more than react to the challenges of our time. As they respond to concrete realities, they must also consider opportunities that promote long-term growth. The need to grasp these chances has arguably never been greater.

We have surveyed the role of women in business for the last 13 years and, in this year’s report, we look at the issue of risk and reward. We find that men and women see risk and opportunity in different ways, and that they act differently as a result. Recognise, celebrate and seize upon these differences, and companies stand a better chance of seeing the world as it really is and as it could become. Fail to create diverse teams, and companies become susceptible to ‘groupthink’ – the phenomenon where by engaging only with those who share a similar view of the world, we muffle other perspectives and  do not see change coming.

In Thailand, women hold 31% of senior roles in 2017 which is one of the top three countries in Asia Pacific after Indonesia (46%) and the Philippines (40%). This year the research also showed that 25% of businesses in Thailand have no women in senior management, up from 21% last year. The senior management role with the most females in Thailand is CEO (40%) and CFO (34%). Globally, the travel, tourism and leisure industry have the highest proportion of women in senior management (37%).

Noel Ashpole, Partner at Grant Thornton in Thailand said “This year businesses across Asia Pacific have increased the proportion of senior roles held by women, however, further progress is needed. In particular, the increase in the percentage of businesses with no women in senior management is disappointing and there is a need for businesses to recognising the untapped potential that women can bring to a management team”.

“Whilst Thailand continues to be in the top three countries with women in senior positions, however, the trend is decreasing indicating the need for a continued effort to support women in the workplace. These results indicate that we could end up facing the same problem as developed Asia Pacific countries which only has 13% women in leadership positions. The balance between motherhood and career is one of the biggest challenges for Thai women, since having a family is often a significant priority. As a result, many have to choose between having a family and having a successful and fulfilling career due to the lack in supporting infrastructure.”

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