IWD2021: why should we Choose to Challenge?

On International Women’s Day 2021, new data from company analysts BoldData shows sectors where the glass ceiling is hardest to crack – and where female representation is at an all-time low.

Female engineer in hard hat looks upwards
BoldData mined the stats its ICT, Construction and Manufacturing database – part of the company’s total database of 287million+ companies around the world – to find out how in women are faring in these traditionally male-dominated sectors.
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ICT female talent pipelines squeezed at senior levels

Figures from the The United Nations suggest that female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3%). This number is reflected in both the relatively low number of women in ICT, who account for around a third of the workforce, and the number of female CEOs in the ICT industry.In household names like Google, for example, 26.7% of leadership roles globally are taken by women. However, overall in the sector, only 2.9% of the highest executive roles at ICT companies around the world are occupied by women. 

Low female representation in manufacturing

The figure is similar in manufacturing companies. Here, only 2.7% of manufacturing companies worldwide are female-led.Digging further into the statistics, BoldData finds that this 2.7% of female CEOs mainly predominate in Apparel (7.2% female CEO’s) and Jewelry (6.75%) manufacturing.

Oil and gas – even lower female energy

Female CEOs are also still a rarity in heavy manufacturing industry where only 1.3% of senior leadership roles being taken by women.  In the Oil and Gas industry, only 0.005% of all oil and gas companies are led by women - and all-time low. This despite the high-profile commitments in many companies to Environmental, Social and Governance criteriaGender diversity and inclusion are increasingly regarded as part of sustainability agendas, as well as being linked to higher performing companies

Construction industry also a tough sector to crack for women

The construction industry has just 1.4% female CEOs worldwide. It might not come as a surprise that heavy construction companies (such as road construction and civil engineering) scores lowest with 1% female CEOs, says BoldData.The number of female decision makers at General Contractors and Installation companies ranks slightly higher with 1.4%.

Choose to challenge

With the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (8 March) choose to challenge, the data provides useful insight into where gender gaps exist, opening the door to valuable conversations around how to close them.Data shows that more gender-diverse workplaces at all levels are good for employees, companies and national economies. Yet the pandemic and its repercussions threaten the progress to date.

Watch the Think Women video replays

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To join the conversation, Relocate Global’s Think Women annual celebration of International Women’s Day starts on Monday. Register now, benefit from a the wealth of resources and be part of it!


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