Stunning lack of women in corporate leadership roles worldwide

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(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

NEW YORK   — When it comes to leadership roles at publicly traded companies, it’s still no exaggeration to say it’s a man’s world.

That’s a big takeaway from a report released Monday that examined data from nearly 22,000 firms in 91 countries.

The research, conducted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and funded by tax consulting firm EY, found that:

— Nearly a third of the companies studied had no women whatsoever on their boards or in any C-suite jobs.

— 60% had no female board members.

— Half had no female top executives.

— More than 95% did not have a female CEO.

Interestingly, though, companies with a dearth of female executives may be paying a financial price.

The report found that companies where women accounted for at least 30% of their executives typically had higher profits than those that had less female representation in top manager roles.

“The impact is the biggest for female executive[s], followed by female board [members], with the presence of female CEOs having no noticeable effect,” authors of the study wrote.

Another finding from the study may be particularly compelling to anyone — male or female — who wants both a corporate career and a family.

Paternity leave was strongly correlated with a higher representation of women on corporate boards. The 10 countries with the most gender-diverse corporations — including Norway, Latvia, Finland and Sweden — offered 11 times more paternity leave than the bottom 10 countries (Australia, Pakistan, Canada and Japan, among others).

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