Top Female Executive Directors in 2021: Measuring Female Power

COVID-19 accelerated trends towards flexible working, diversifying innovation, and success. Let's take a look at the top female executive directors in 2021.

The Woman Post | Nereida Vega

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The digital and flexible work environment has removed some of the obstacles to women's professions. That is why flexible working is on the list of actions necessary to promote the development of female professions. Although, the changes have shown that these labor practices are viable. However, leadership has also been put to the test due to the demands imposed by COVID-19, and as these styles become softer they have proven their effectiveness, resulting in greater appreciation and a greater need for female and diverse leadership.

A new study by Grant Thornton called "Women Managers 2021: A Window of Opportunity," reveals that in 2004 the number of women in senior management positions was 19%. The trend shows a positive trajectory, over the past 17 years. Subsequently, in 2017, a quarter of management positions were held by women. Last year stabilization was reported maintaining a number of 29% recorded in the year 2019. However, in 2021 the figure reached was 31%, indicating that a third of all senior management positions are likely to be held by women.

On the other hand, the study shows that 9 out of 10 companies have at least one woman in their senior management teams. Companies' work on their diversity and inclusion policies is yielding good results, but COVID-19 may have emphasized the importance of diverse leadership in times of crisis, as the need to innovate and broaden perspectives has never been greater than in the last 12 months.

Fiona Hathorn

Fiona Hathorn is the Chief Executive of Women on Boards UK and looks at the issues facing boards and directors today in the UK, including why diversity of thought is so important on the board. Cultural changes now address ethnic and gender diversity. In addition, she is a patron of Fight for Sight, which is a medical research charity.  She has advised the board of directors of the Thai Euro Fund and is a judge of the non-executive director awards, sponsored by The Sunday Times. In 2020, Fiona joined the advisory board of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at King's College London.


Marivic Españo

Maria Victoria C. Españo is the President and Chief Executive Officer of P&A Grant Thornton, which is one of the Philippines' leading professional services firms providing audit, accounting, advisory, and tax services and a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. She brings to her position extensive experience in organizational management. In addition, she is recognized by the Philippine Professional Regulation Commission as the 2020 Outstanding Professional in the Field of Accounting.

Allyson Zimmermann

Allyson Zimmermann is the Executive Director of Catalyst's operations in Europe. She offers master classes, face-to-face, and virtual events, workshops, talks, and advisory sessions on various topics on inclusion. These include sponsorship, male participation, unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, strategy development, and the effectiveness of working life within Europe. In addition, she has extensive experience to offer to Catalyst's members.

Caroline Whaley

Caroline Whaley co-founded Shine for Women with close partner Anna Baréz-Brown in 2013. The company, whose purpose is to make the business world a more humane place, has reached thousands of women in more than 75 different nationalities and on four continents. In addition, she began her career in the adventure travel industry and then joined Nike in 1996, where she spent 14 years in senior global brand marketing positions and in GM positions in Europe, North America, and Latin America.

On the other hand, for a time she was deeply inspired by the role that empowered women can have in the world and by leading culturally diverse teams in highly competitive companies.

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