Thailand leads the world with its number of female CEOs; In Thailand, 49% of CEOs are women, which is the highest proportion in the world

Thai female CEOs on top of the world

Published: 8 Mar 2013 at 00.00

  • Thailand leads the world with its number of female CEOs, according to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR).

The new research is being announced globally today on International Women’s Day.

In Thailand, 49% of CEOs are women, which is the highest proportion in the world, the research showed.

Globally, 24% of senior management roles are now filled by women, which is up from 21% last year and 20% in 2011.

China is the only country where women occupy more than half (51%) of senior management roles, while Japan remains at the bottom with 7%.The pioneer economies where economic growth is high have greater diversity in their senior management teams. The Asean and Asia-Pacific regions are ahead of the global average with 32% and 29% female proportions, respectively, but Thailand is even higher at 36%.

The IBR also reveals the proportion of women in senior positions is markedly different across sectors. More than double the number of positions in the global healthcare sector are occupied by women (45%) than in construction or mining (19%).

The most popular position for women is chief financial officer, while chief information officer is the least.

Progress is slower in the Group of Seven (G7) group of developed economies, where economic performance has lagged behind the high-growth economies of Asia and the Far East.

The G7 economies come bottom of the league table, with just 21% of senior roles occupied by women. This compares with 28% in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies, 32% in Southeast Asia and 40% in the Baltic states.

Britain (19%) and the US (20%) are in the bottom eight countries for women in senior management roles.

These economies are also experiencing low levels of growth, with gross domestic product (GDP) in Japan at 1.9%, Britain -0.1% and the US 2.2% last year.

In contrast, top performer China’s GDP growth was 7-8%. The top 10 also features the fast-growing economies of Latvia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

The situation is even starker when looking at boardroom positions. In the G7, just 16% of board members are women compared with 26% in the BRIC economies and 38% in the Baltic states.

The research found women are playing a major role in driving the world’s growth economies, bringing balance to the decision-making process and the smooth running of their companies.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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