More women hold top spots in Philippine firms

Almost half of senior leadership positions in mid-market businesses in the Philippines are now held by women, the highest proportion among the 29 large economies surveyed annually by global consultancy firm Grant Thornton.

More importantly, the 48 per cent of senior corporate positions held by females in the country is higher than last year’s level of 43 per cent, and represents a marked improvement over the 35 per cent recorded in the Women in Business report a decade ago.


P&A Grant Thornton chair and CEO Marivic Espano said in a statement: “Ranking first globally in terms of women in senior roles in the Philippines is an important milestone for businesses in the country, but not the end goal.”

The increase in the ratio of women holding senior positions in local firms represents a steady improvement for the country in recent years. It also passes the important 30 per cent threshold, which research shows is the minimum representation needed to change decision-making processes.

All countries surveyed except for China (29 per cent), the UAE (26 per cent), South Korea (18 per cent) and Japan (15 per cent) have now surpassed the crucial 30 per cent milestone.

Grant Thornton’s research revealed higher numbers of women across operational “C-suite” roles in the Philippines compared to last year, with the proportion of female CEO up 16 percentage points to 38 per cent, and female chief operating officers up four percentage points to 27 per cent.

On the other hand, this year, the proportion of female chief financial officers went down three percentage points to 35 per cent. The proportion of women in the more traditional senior human resources roles was also up at 48 per cent, higher by 12 percentage points in 2021.

The data was contained in Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, a survey of both listed and privately held businesses. Launched in 1992, the report now provides insight into the views and expectations of around 10,000 businesses across 29 economies.


Questionnaires are translated into local languages and fieldwork is undertaken on a biannual basis, through both online and telephone interviews.

The data for this release are from interviews conducted from October-December last year with CEO, managing directors, chairperson or other senior executives from all industry sectors. In the Philippines, 100 mid-market businesses were surveyed.