Press releases

Deloitte’s Women in the boardroom report: 19.7% of board seats held by women

Key highlights:

  • Report reveals a disconnect between women holding roles on boards and in the executive. Only 6.7% of board chairs are women, and even fewer CEOs - 5% - are women 
  • A global average of 19.7% of board seats are held by women, an increase of 2.8% since 2018 compared to a 1.9% increase in the period from 2016 to 2018
  • Companies with women in executive leadership positions have significantly more balanced boards than those led by men

13 April 2022– Deloitte Global in collaboration with The 30% Club released the seventh edition of Women in the boardroom: A global perspective. The latest edition of the report finds that women hold 19.7% of board seats globally, a 2.8% increase from the report’s last edition, published in 2019.  

The latest edition reveals that in all eight major regions (North America, Latin and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Asia, and Australasia), at least 10% of board seats are occupied by women. With notable exceptions, progress has been slow, however this slight acceleration provides some reason for optimism given the 2019 report showed the world would not reach parity until 2052. Austria, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States saw the most notable increases. If this rate of change were to continue, we could expect to reach something near parity around 2045.

This year, Deloitte Global collaborated with The 30% Club, whose mission is to achieve at least 30% representation of women in board seats and executive leadership among all listed companies. The report provides a short summary of the “story on the ground" for each country where the 30% Club maintains a chapter, portraying a world of uneven progress.

The latest edition of the report includes updates from 72 countries on representation of women in the boardroom, exploring insights on the political, social, and legislative trends behind these numbers. 

The report found that nearly all countries have local organizations or governments committed to increasing the number of women serving on company boards. While these private and public sector efforts demonstrate steps toward achieving parity, the pace of collective progress needs to pick up. 

“While it’s heartening to see that the world continues to make progress towards achieving gender parity, with the exception of a few countries, overall progress remains slow and uneven,” says Rana Ghandour Salhab, People and Purpose Partner, Deloitte Middle East. “The pandemic has further challenged progress in achieving equality, making it even more important to move past discussion and take concrete actions to ensure inclusion within and beyond the boardroom including gender, ethnic and racial diversity among other characteristics. Increasing the number of women on boards is only the first step on a longer journey.” 

“The Middle East region, notably the UAE and KSA are achieving significant strides towards gender parity, with defined female representation targets on board and other leadership positions being put in place for tangible and measurable progress. Many companies and government bodies are investing in gender balance programs and initiatives, preparing women to serve on boards and creating a fertile ground for increased representation of women in the Middle Eastern corporate landscape,” said Lamisse Muhtaseb, Purpose, Culture and Inclusion Director, Deloitte Middle East.

Disproportionate progress in leadership positions 

While global female board representation increased slightly in 2021, progress at the chair and CEO levels is less apparent, underscoring the notion that placing more women on corporate boards does not necessarily equate to progress across leadership positions. 

The latest research found that only 6.7% of board chairs are women, representing just a 1.4% increase from 2018. Even fewer women – 5%– hold the CEO role, representing only a 0.6% increase from 2018. 

However, Deloitte Global’s research revealed a positive correlation between female CEO leadership and board diversity. Companies with women CEOs have significantly more women on their boards than those run by men—33.5% vs. 19.4%, respectively. The statistics are similar for companies with female chairs (30.8% women on boards vs. 19.4%, respectively). The inverse is true as well, with gender-diverse boards more likely to appoint a female CEO and board chair.


Top five countries


Percentage of board seats held by women

Percentage of CEO roles held by women



% change



% change































Source: Deloitte- Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective, 7th edition (2022)

“Consistent dedication and commitment are required to overcome the persistent barriers to improving gender diversity within the boardroom,” says Dan Konigsburg, Managing Director of the Deloitte Global Boardroom Program. “Leaders must recognize, advocate, and actively advance gender parity in the boardroom even as progress remains slow. Whether by addressing bias, implementing programs designed to help women prepare for board service or supporting legislation, we all have a part to play in advocating for a more diverse and equitable future.” 

To read the full report, click here

Press contact

Nadine El Hassan
Public Relations Regional Leader
Deloitte Middle East
Tel: +961 (0) 1 748444

Click here for the Arabic version

About Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective

The global, regional, and country analyses are based on a dataset covering 10,493 companies in 51 countries— more than 176,340 directorships—spanning Asia Pacific, the Americas, and EMEA. Only active directorships and committee memberships were considered in the analysis. To supplement this data, Deloitte Global compiled information on diversity quotas and other diversity initiatives. In total, the publication explores the efforts in 72 countries to promote boardroom gender diversity. Percentage change noted throughout the report is in comparison to Deloitte Global’s analysis conducted in previous editions of this report, published in 2015, 2017 and 2019, unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited or the Deloitte member firms. We make no representation or warranty about the accuracy of the information.

About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) LLP:

Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) LLP (DME) is the affiliate for the territories of the Middle East and Cyprus of Deloitte NSE LLP (“NSE”), a UK limited liability partnership and member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”). 

DME is a leader in professional services with uninterrupted presence in the Middle East since 1926 with 26 offices in 14 countries and around 5,000 partners, directors and staff. DME’s presence in the Middle East and Cyprus is established through its affiliated independent legal entities, which are licensed to operate and to provide services under the applicable laws and regulations of the relevant country. DME’s affiliates and related entities cannot oblige each other and/or DME, and when providing services, each affiliate and related entity engages directly and independently with its own clients and shall only be liable for its own acts or omissions and not those of any other affiliate.


About Deloitte:

Deloitte refers to one or more of DTTL, its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities, which cannot obligate or bind each other in respect of third parties. DTTL and each DTTL member firm and related entity is liable only for its own acts and omissions, and not those of each other. DTTL, NSE and DME do not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. 

Deloitte is a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services. Our network of member firms in more than 150 counties and territories, serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 300,000 people make an impact that matters at

Did you find this useful?