Grant Thornton ‘s 20th ‘Women in Business’ Report”

Grant Thornton celebrates the 20th anniversary of its “Women in Business” report, shedding light on Spain’s noteworthy position in female business leadership, both regionally and globally. Despite the ongoing challenges posed by geopolitical and economic uncertainties, the report underscores Spain’s continuous progress. The latest findings from the “Women in Business 2024” report reveal a historic 40% representation of women in leadership roles within the middle-market segment over the past twelve months—a two-point increase from the previous year. This reflects the effectiveness of strategies promoting female leadership. However, the global pace indicates that worldwide business parity will not be achieved until 2053.

Spain’s commitment to diversity, combined with heightened social awareness and favorable regulations, has positioned the country as a European leader, surpassing the regional average by five points (35%) and exceeding the global average by seven points (33%). Spain has achieved a 40% female representation in executive positions two years ahead of the European Union’s target and in alignment with the CNMV’s Good Governance Code, which aimed for this figure by 2022.

The report, based on over 400 interviews with male and female executives in equal proportions, reveals the remarkable but irregular evolution of women’s presence in leadership roles in Spain over the past two decades. Despite occasional stagnation, the study highlights a consistent upward trajectory, with women holding leadership positions increasing by two percentage points annually over the last three years. Since 2004, the number of women in leadership roles has surged from 14% to the current 40%, marking the most significant increase among the 31 countries analyzed.

Grant Thornton’s President, Ramón Galcerán, expresses pride in Spain’s leadership position in female executive representation, emphasizing that Spain now leads the European Union with a 40% representation, meeting the Commission’s 2026 target. Galcerán underscores the importance of Spain’s companies sustaining their commitment to leadership equality amid ongoing uncertainties, recognizing the pivotal role female leadership plays.

While Spain has made substantial strides, the report warns against complacency, noting that the 40% representation is not evenly distributed in positions of true influence and strategic responsibility within companies. Furthermore, occasional setbacks, such as replacing female executives with other profiles, can pose challenges, with companies often preferring male executives in such instances. The findings emphasize the fragility of progress and the need for robust diversity and inclusion policies to solidify advancements in female leadership. Grant Thornton highlights the shifting societal mindset and evolving perspectives on gender equality, accelerated by social events and supported by legislative advancements, contributing to this positive trend.

Isabel Perea (pictured left), Audit Partner at the company, notes the evolving mentality in both society and companies, accelerated by social events that have changed perspectives on gender equality. Perea emphasizes that this shift has been facilitated by legislative advancements and companies’ demand for transparency regarding gender equality.

Grant Thornton’s report also stresses the need for continued efforts to ensure that the 40% representation is not merely an achievement but a sustained reality. Joan Vall (pictured right), Audit Partner at the company, emphasizes the fragility of progress and the importance of deploying necessary diversity and inclusion policies to fortify advancements in female leadership.