Despite many women in HR, glass ceiling prevents equality among HR directors

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The stereotype of the HR manager as a female is more or less true: across Europe, the US and Australia, the vast majority of staff in HR are women. But that changes with seniority: as researchers from the Vienna University of Economics and Business studied HR directors in companies across the world, every country had significantly fewer women in those positions.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Italy, with its notoriously chauvinist culture, had the largest gender gap amongst HR directors. But the friendliest nation for females in HR may come as a shock: Hungary came far above any other nation, with the highest proportion of women in both junior and senior levels.

Proportion of women in HR
Hungary: 84% in Human Resources, 64% in Human Resources Director positions
UK: 80% in HR, 59% in HRD
Australia: 77% in HR, 55% in HRD
USA: 81% in HR, 51% in HRD
Sweden: 70% in HR, 43% in HRD
Finland: 75% in HR, 40% in HRD
Denmark: 74% in HR, 38% in HRD
The Netherlands: 67% in HR, 38% in HRD
Czech Republic: 72% in HR, 36% in HRD
Switzerland: 73% in HR, 33% in HRD
Israel: 72% in HR, 33% in HRD
France: 74% in HR, 31% in HRD
Belgium: 66% in HR, 27% in HRD
Germany: 66% in HR, 21% in HRD
Austria: 67% in HR, 21% in HRD
Spain: 56% in HR, 14% in HRD
Italy: 60% in HR, 9% in HRD

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