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5.5.2 Proportion of Women in Managerial Positions

Target 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Custodian Organization: International Labour Organization (ILO)

Tier Classification: Tier I

To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:

Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.

Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.

Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division

Definition: This indicator refers to the proportion of females in the total number of persons employed in managerial positions. It is recommended to use two different measures jointly for this indicator: the share of females in (total) management and the share of females in senior and middle management (thus excluding junior management). The joint calculation of these two measures provides information on whether women are more represented in junior management than in senior and middle management, thus pointing to an eventual ceiling for women to access higher-level management positions. In these cases, calculating only the share of women in (total) management would be misleading, in that it would suggest that women hold positions with more decision-making power and responsibilities than they actually do.

Concepts: Employment comprises all persons of working age who, during a short reference period (one week), were engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit.

Employment in management is determined according to the categories of the latest version of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08), which organizes jobs into a clearly defined set of groups based on the tasks and duties undertaken in the job. For the purposes of this indicator, it is preferable to refer separately to senior and middle management only on one hand, and to total management (including junior management) on the other. The share of women tends to be higher in junior management than in senior and middle management, so limiting the indicator to a measure including junior management may introduce a bias. Senior and middle management correspond to sub-major groups 11, 12 and 13 in ISCO-08 and sub-major groups 11 and 12 in ISCO-88. If statistics are not available disaggregated at the sub-major group level (two-digit level of ISCO), then major group 1 of ISCO-88 and ISCO-08 can be used as a proxy and the indicator would then refer only to total management (including junior management).

Rationale: The indicator provides information on the proportion of women who are employed in decision-making and management roles in government, large enterprises and institutions, thus providing some insight into women’s power in decision making and in the economy (especially compared to men’s power in those areas).

Limitations: This indicator’s main limitation is that it does not reflect differences in the levels of responsibility of women in these high- and middle-level positions or the importance of the enterprises and organizations in which they are employed. Its quality is also heavily dependent on the reliability of the employment statistics by occupation at the two-digit level of the ISCO.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division

Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data from the UN Statistics Division is compiled by the respective custodian for the SDG indicator, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.

Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.


5.5.2 Proportion of Women in Managerial Positions Sustainable Development Goals

5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

Related 5.5.2 Proportion of Women in Managerial PositionsTargets


Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate