Worldwide Index of Women as Public Sector Leaders

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Our survey results

When it comes to the numbers of female public sector leaders, Canada, Australia and the UK take the top three places.

The US, Italy, France and Germany perform favorably. South Africa and Brazil also do well. In fact, South Africa, which is ranked number four in our Index, tops the indices for both female ministers and women in parliament. It also performs highly in the private sector index.

Newly emerging economies

Women Public Sector Leaders

Brazil scores highly, ranking in fifth place of the Index, with women seemingly sharing equally in country’s rapid development. Since 2010 it has had a female president, Dilma Rousseff, and 10 of her 39 ministers are women, a record for Brazil.

There are also women in high-profile private sector roles, including Maria das Graças Foster, CEO of Petrobras, GE Brazil CEO Adriana Machado and Standard & Poor’s managing director Regina Nunes.

Newly emerging economies — Argentina, Mexico and Turkey — form a second tier in our Index.

Worldwide Index of Women as Public Sector Leaders

Russia, however, is performing less well. Although it has the highest number of women working in the public sector — 71% — only 13% of leadership roles are held by women. Women ministers, members of parliament and board members are thin on the ground.

Although rapid-growth markets in Asia represent the fastest-growing economic region in the world, with annual growth forecast at more than 6% a year, its countries are performing less well across our Index indicators.