DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions and World Economic Forum (WEF) strategic partner, advises companies to embrace greater flexibility in order to empower women leaders in an era of unpredictability that demands new approaches to doing business.
ManpowerGroup's 2012 Talent Shortage Survey found that, globally, management and executive roles are among the most difficult to fill. Despite this, Grant Thornton's 2012 International Business Report revealed that barely one in five senior management positions globally is held by women. In her opening plenary remarks at the WEF Annual Meeting, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde urged the business world to focus on inclusive growth. She said: "The evidence is clear; when women do better, economies do better. Seventy percent of all consumption decisions in the world are made by women.""The world simply cannot afford such a poor representation of half the talent pool when filling key leadership positions is posing such a global challenge. Growing the pipeline of women in management roles is critical to having the talent businesses need to win," said Mara Swan, ManpowerGroup Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent. "Companies should revisit old-fashioned work models and people practices so that high-performing women are not prevented from rising to leadership positions." Swan, who yesterday participated in a meeting of the Women Leaders Advisory Board at the WEF Annual Meeting, was recently named a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Leadership and was honored as HR Executive of the Year for 2012 by Human Resource Executive magazine. As world economic growth continues to shift considerably South and East and demographic shifts accelerate, emerging markets in particular need to devote more resources to developing women for leadership roles. For example, the 2012 International Business Report revealed that India has among the fewest women in senior management positions (14%), yet ManpowerGroup's Talent Shortage Survey found that nearly half of Indian businesses are impacted by talent shortages. ManpowerGroup's new insights paper, " Leading in the Human Age," details steps businesses can take in order to formulate strategies for responding to unpredictable situations in this era of "certain uncertainty". In an age where talentism has become the dominant economic system, a company's strategies, processes and solutions must start with its people.