UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Globally, women held only 28 percent of managerial positions in 2019, with some regional variations, a UN report published Tuesday showed.
"Globally, women held only 28 percent of managerial positions in 2019, with some regional variations, and in countries in Northern Africa and Western Asia and Central and Southern Asia the proportion barely reached 13 percent, a statistic that has not changed significantly over the past 20 years," according to the World's Women 2020: Trends and Statistics, which compiled 100 data stories that provide a snapshot of the state of gender equality worldwide.
Since 2000, while the proportion of women in managerial positions has increased in most regions, the rate of improvement was slight, said the report.
"The underrepresentation of women in management positions is even more visible at the higher levels of decision-making: 48 percent of companies surveyed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2018 had at least one woman in senior management, but only 31 percent had women in top executive positions," the report said.
Women CEOs (chief executive officers) or top managers were even more scarce: only 18 percent of enterprises surveyed by the World Bank had a woman CEO.
Among Fortune 500 corporations, women accounted for only 7.4 percent, or 37 out of 500 CEOs. Despite the minor improvement from 1998, when only one out of the top 500 corporations had a female CEO, the gender gap at the level of top corporate decision makers remained significant.
The bigger the enterprise, the lower the chances of it having a woman CEO: over 26 percent of small enterprises surveyed by ILO in 2018 (employing two to 100 workers) had female CEOs, compared with 16 percent of large enterprises (employing more than 250 workers).
Enterprises with more women in their workforce were more likely to have a female CEO. Of the enterprises surveyed by ILO in 2018, enterprises with a gender balanced workforce were 15 percent more likely to have a female CEO; and enterprises with a predominantly female workforce (between 61 percent and 100 percent) were 22 percent more likely to have a female CEO, said the report.
Produced by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World's Women report has been produced every five years since 1990 and provides the latest data on the state of gender equality worldwide.