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Women in Business 2022: Opening the door to diverse talent

Grant Thornton




Workplace Gender Equality

Women in Business 2022: Opening the door to diverse talent

Women in Business 2022: Opening the door to diverse talent

The Women in Business 2022: Opening the Door to Diverse Talent Report by Grant Thornton explores the position of women in senior management across the world, the progress towards gender parity in leadership and the inclusion actions that are driving this gender diversity.

The report presents the data and highlights the trends at a global level, and also considers and compares regional variations across North America, The European Union, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and ASEAN.

The findings analyse the different types of senior positions held by women, such as HR, Finance, CEO and Managing Director, Marketing, Operations and Chief Information Technology, and finds that HR and finance roles dominate.

The report also considers the impact that Covid-19 has had on gender parity and diversity in senior management positions, exploring the changes associated with flexible working arrangements and increased awareness around environmental, social and governance issues.


  • The 2021 Women in Business report identified the window of opportunity that post-pandemic working practices could create for women to move into senior roles. In the wake of the pandemic, as economies slowly recover and businesses refine altered ways of working, that trend looks set to continue.
  • In the 2022 research, businesses were found to be taking deliberate, necessary action to create more inclusive working practices. They were prioritising employee engagement and opening the door to allow female talent access to senior positions in greater numbers than ever before.
  • These proactive policies have resulted in an overall increase in the proportion of women in senior management around the globe, rising from 31% of top leadership positions in 2021 to 32% today. Over the last decade, that figure increased by 11 percentage points, up from 21% in 2012.
  • In previous years, APAC, had generally delayed growth compared to the rest of the world, with its developed countries in particular lagging behind global progress. However, in 2022, the region has closed the gap, moving closer to the positioning of other regions and reaching the tipping point of 30% of senior roles held by women – compared to 28% in 2021 and 23% in 2018.
  • The report finds that ASEAN is the second highest performer with 37% of the region’s leaders being female, a slight decrease on last year’s figure of 38%, and less impressive than its 2018 score of 39%.
  • This levelling off is reflected in all of the other regions, which have either remained stable – as in the case of North America, where numbers still stand at 33% – or seen a slight decrease, as in the European Union and Latin America.


  • Global findings
    • No turning back
    • Accelerating action
    • Open for opportunities
  • Regional variations
    • All regions hit the tipping point
    • Mature markets slower to react
  • Senior positions held
    • HR and finance roles dominate
    • Female roles defined by culture and geography
  • Covid-19’s impact on gender parity
    • A promised fulfilled
    • Flexible means flexible
    • The ESG agenda
    • No size fits all
  • Inclusion actions driving gender diversity
  • Covid-19: a catalyst for engagement
    • Flexibility feeds the pipeline
    • Motivations behind D&I actions
  • Diversity data
    • Measurement drives results
  • Accessing female talent
    • Combatting the talent crisis
    • Prioritising the 50%
    • Changing the ways we work
    • D&I drives acquisition
  • Conclusions
  • About Grant Thornton
  • Methodology
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