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The private sector

Modified on 2013/05/16 15:03 by Haoyi Chen Paths: Read in Order Categorized as Chapter 2 - Power and decision-making
From gender issues to gender statistics on power and decision-making in the private sector: illustrative examples

Policy-relevant questions Data needed Sources of data
Are women as likely as men to be directors or chief executives of enterprises and organizations? Employment by sex and detailed occupational groups Population Censuses
LFS (Labour Force Survey)
Are women underrepresented in the boards of directors of large companies? Members in corporate boards by sex Corporate reports and stock exchange information

  • + Gender issues
    • Women continue to be underrepresented in the highest positions of decision-making in the private sector (United Nations, 2010). Women’s opportunities to obtain managerial positions are increasing in many countries, following their higher participation in tertiary education and higher participation in the labour force. Still, household and family responsibilities combined with employment in atypical forms of work limit women’s chances of promotion in positions with higher responsibility, status and pay. Gender stereotypes and discrimination may add to the obstructions faced by women in access to more senior executive positions. As a result, women continue to be underrepresented as directors, chief executives, or other similar positions at the top of an enterprise or organization. In large corporations, although women directors are now present on most boards of directors, their number remains low compared to men, and women top executives and board directors are not common. Similarly, although women’s presence in financial management positions has increased slightly, decision-making still appears to be male-dominated, especially in the higher management.

  • + Data needed
    • Directors and chief executives of enterprises or organizations by sex

      Members in corporate boards by sex

      Corporate chief executives by sex

      Top managerial positions in banking by sex



  • + Sources of data
    • Corporate and bank reports (including information made available through companies’ websites) and stock exchange information can be used as a source of data on women and men in top positions of decision-making in corporations and banking.

      Population censuses or very large labour force surveys can provide data on directors and chief executives when a detailed classification of occupations is used in data collection.


  • + Conceptual and measurement issues
    • National statistical offices in many countries do not routinely collect data on positions of power and decision-making in private corporations or banking. More often they are able to collect data on directors and chief executives in all sectors of economy, when a detailed classification of occupations is used. The category of directors and chief executives can be distinguished from other occupations at three-digit ISCO (International Standard Classification of Occupations) level. This category would include occupations such as chief executive of enterprise, director-general of enterprise, director-general of organization, managing director of organization, and president of organization.

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