PH ahead in number of female execs

Lean Santos
The International Business Report (IBR), released by local audit company Punongbayan & Araullo and global firm Grand Thornton, reveals that more and more women, including Filipinas, are taking up senior management roles including CEO and CFO posts in 2013.

WOMEN IN-CHARGE. SMIC's Teresita Sy-Coson and Filinvest's Lourdes Josephine Gotianun-Yap are among the growing female executives in Philippine business. Photo from

MANILA, Philippines – More Filipinas are holding senior management roles than any other country in Southeast Asia, a study showed.

The Philippines ranked first in terms of share of female corporate executives in senior positions, noted the International Business Report that global auditing firm Grant Thornton released on Thursday, March 7.

With 37% of women in executive positions, the Philippines edged out Thailand, which registered 36%. The two countries were tied in the top spot with 39% in 2012.

In terms of global rankings, the Philippines remained among the top 5, though it dropped from its 2012 second place rank. 

Despite the drop in global rankings, the Philippines remain above the global average of 24%.

“When you look at the big picture, women in the Philippines are still in a better position compared to their counterparts in most countries,” Punongbayan & Araullo Chairman and CEO Marivic Espano said. The local audit company is the Philippine partner of Grant Thornton. 

More female CEOs, CFOs

Finance remained the most popular upper management post for female executives in the Philippines. About 59% of women surveyed are Chief Finance Officers (CFO).

The share of female Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) also increased to 23% in 2013, leapfrogging from 13% a year ago.

Global average for female executives increased steadily to 24% in 2013 from 21% in 2012 and 20% in 2011.

WOMEN ON TOP. CEO and CFO positions are among the senior management posts Filipinas hold. Screenshot from IBR study

Women in boards

Aside from these top management positions, women’s presence in company boards has also been more prominent.

On average, women comprise 34% of a company’s board. That’s about 2.31 women in a boardroom with an average of 6.85 directors.

This figure, according to Españo, is above the global average of 19% and implies that Filipinas are well represented and have a say in the “upper echelon of the business community.”

Brighter prospects for women

The research results also included figures on the prospects of women’s roles in corporations and large businesses.

Over a third or 39% of Filipino business leaders revealed that concrete plans are in place to hire or promote women to senior management positions in the next 12 months.

When asked if they agree that there should be a minimum number of board seats in large listed companies allocated for women, 44% expressed support. 

Españo was optimistic that women will continue to advance in the corporate ladder and their voices heard in the business world. 

“Hopefully as our economy grows, there will be even more opportunities for women to lead, and we can reclaim that top spot as a global role model for gender parity in the business community,” Españo said.

The study was based on interviews with repondents from 43 countries. –

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