Women are under-represented in the workforce globally, and if organisations maintain the current rate of progress, female representation will reach only 40 per cent globally in the professional and managerial ranks in 2025.
This finding was part of Mercer's second annual 'When Women Thrive' global report.
In terms of regional rankings, Latin America is projected to increase women's representation from 36 per cent in 2015 to 49 per cent in 2025; followed by Australia and New Zealand moving from 35 per cent to 40 per cent; US and Canada improving by just 1 per cent from 39 per cent to 40 per cent; Europe remaining flat at 37 per cent in 2015 and 2025; and Asia ranking last at 28 per cent, up from just 25 per cent in 2015.
Among the key trends revealed in the report is that women's representation within organizations actually declines as career levels rise - from support staff through the executive level. 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 organizations from the highest rank at 1.3 times the rate of men, undermining gains at the top. According to the When Women Thrive report, women make up 40 per cent of the average company's workforce. Globally, they represent 33 per cent of managers, 26 per cent of senior managers, and 20 per cent of executives.
The research featured input from nearly 600 organisations around the world, employing 3.2 million people, including 1.3 million women - identifies a host of key drivers known to improve diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts.
Only 9 per cent of organisations surveyed globally offer women-focused retirement and savings programs with the US/Canada ranking first (14 per cent), despite Mercer's research proving that such efforts lead to greater representation of women.
The survey said that 28 per cent of women hold P&L (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).