Global Network Survey Illuminates Challenges for Women in the Global Workforce

NEW HAVEN, Conn.--()--The Global Network for Advanced Management has released results of a survey of nearly 5,000 students and alumni from its network of 29 top business schools worldwide. The report, “Women in the Global Workforce,” presents new insights into factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in business leadership worldwide.

The survey was an example of the networked inquiry made possible when business schools across 25 countries collaborate to better understand issues of importance to the economy and society.

The sophisticated survey design asked participants to answer a series of questions about their background and opinions and then presented them with a hypothetical candidate for promotion. The candidates varied along a number of variables, including gender, assertiveness, ability to work long hours, and productivity.

From this rich data set, including participants with work experience in 105 countries, the researchers distilled four key findings:

1. Time is money. In making promotion decisions, respondents greatly favored candidates who were available to work around the clock. However, when shown productivity data for these candidates, respondents no longer put much weight on availability.
2. Workplaces favor assertive women (and men). Respondents to this survey believe that both women and men with assertive personalities are more likely to be promoted than individuals with reserved personalities. However, the preference for assertive personalities varies significantly across countries.
3. Who's responsible for childcare? Across the board, respondents expected women to take on slightly more of the responsibility of childcare. Respondents also reported the belief that senior managers in their firms expected women to take on an even greater proportion of childcare.
4. Working remotely extends the workday. Survey respondents report that working remotely during regular business hours is viewed negatively, while working remotely outside nine to five is a plus. Rather than create more flexibility, technology may be extending the hours people are expected to work.

The report recommends that companies and other employers focus on activities that can counterbalance some of the identified challenges for women in the workforce. Among other suggestions, the authors urge companies to measure productivity, as opposed to merely time in the office, and to take steps to counter the perception that childcare is primarily a woman’s responsibility. The result, they say, can be an improved culture for all employees.

The release of the survey marks International Women’s Day on March 8. The full report and the underlying data can be viewed at

About Global Network for Advanced Management

Launched in 2012, the Global Network for Advanced Management includes 29 leading business schools from diverse regions, countries, cultures, and economies in different phases of development. A common motivation of member schools to connect is to position their students, faculty, staff, alumni and other constituencies so that they can deepen their understanding of differences and commonalities in their economies and increase their effectiveness. Member schools recognize that leaders in all sectors will be asked to contribute to the solutions of major problems that are typically complex and global.

Representing a shift beyond traditional partnership models of business school collaboration, the Global Network enables the development of innovative initiatives that leverage the schools’ comparative advantages. Leveraging network efficiencies, utilizing new technologies, building strong institutional and personal relationships, and operating with a minimum of bureaucracy, the Global Network is having a transformational effect on students, member schools, management education, and beyond.


On behalf of Global Network for Advanced Management
Nathan Williams, 203-432-7817

Release Summary

The Global Network for Advanced Management has released a new report, “Women in the Global Workforce,” which presents new insights into the global underrepresentation of women in business leadership.


On behalf of Global Network for Advanced Management
Nathan Williams, 203-432-7817