Latin America expected to top women at work rankings

Mercer 10-year forecast shows Europe, North America struggling for workforce parity

Irish university graduates are more likely to be women, but women still participate less in the workforce.

Irish university graduates are more likely to be women, but women still participate less in the workforce.

 

Latin America is forecast to have the world’s highest proportion of women in the workplace by 2025, according to a new report from consulting firm Mercer.

According to the When Women Thrive report, Latin America is projected to increase women’s representation in the workforce from 36 per cent in 2015 to 49 per cent in 2025, overtaking Europe and North America.

Australia and New Zealand are forecast to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 35 per cent to 40 per cent.

The 10-year forecast shows Europe and North America struggling for workforce parity, with Europe projected to remain flat at 37 per cent, and the US/Canada improving by just 1 per cent from 39 per cent to 40 per cent.

Asia is expected to remain the region with the lowest proportion of women at work, with the figure rising to 28 per cent by 2025, according to Mercer.

Mercer’s report finds that although women are 1.5 times more likely than men to be hired at the executive level, they are also leaving organisations from the highest rank at 1.3 times the rate of men, undermining gains at the top.

The report found 28 per cent of women hold profit and loss roles, with Latin America ranking first (47 per cent), followed by Asia (27 per cent), Australia/New Zealand (25 per cent), US/Canada (22 per cent), and Europe (17 per cent).

US/Canada ranks first in providing training to support employees through parental leave as well offering customised retirement and savings programs by gender.

Mercer’s global leader of When Women Thrive, Pat Milligan, said a failure to build talent pipelines is threatening women’s workplace progress.

“While leaders have been focusing on women at the top, they’re largely ignoring the female talent pipelines so critical to maintaining progress,” Ms Milligan said.

“The traditional methods of advancing women aren’t moving the needle, and under-representation of women around the world has become an economic and social travesty,” she said.

Mercer said Irish university graduates are more likely to be women, but women still participate less in the workforce.

“Our university graduates in Ireland are now more likely to be female than male but women still participate to a lesser extent than men in the workforce as a whole”, Mairéad O’Mahony of Mercer Ireland said.

Although the gender employment gap in Ireland is better than the EU average, Ms O’Mahony said Ireland still has a long way to go to achieve real gender equality.

The global Mercer report featured input from 583 companies in 42 countries, representing 3.2 million employees.