Business World

Saturday 30 August 2014

Global multimillionaire rankings are still dominated by men

Published 23/11/2013 | 01:00

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The global multimillionaire gender divide has been revealed by 'SPEAR's Magazine' and wealth consultancy company WealthInsight.

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Their research shows that 90pc of the world's multimillionaires are male and only 10pc female.

A number of developed liberal economies are below the global average in terms of the percentage of female multimillionaires including Japan (3.7pc), Netherlands (5.9pc), France (8.5pc) and the US (9.4pc).

Compared to these countries, Ireland is not doing too badly at 11pc, or 16th in the world, but that is still lower than many countries around the world.

But millionaire women, like Dunnes Stores boss Margaret Heffernan or the new owner of the Morrison Hotel, Elena Baturina, remain the exception everywhere.

"The top 10 most equal countries for multimillionaires are a diverse bunch and almost certainly not the ones you would have predicted," said Josh Spero, editor of 'SPEAR's Magazine'.

"It certainly seems that Asia is leading the way in gender equality, perhaps reflecting emerging markets whose developing, increasing wealthy economies are not bound by old forms of gender discrimination in business."

DIVIDE

One of the interesting things about the gender divide and wealth is that there seems to be no correlation between emerging and developed countries in the top 10 female multimillionaire countries.

However, if you consider that Hong Kong and Singapore are home to many of emerging Asia's multimillionaires, it appears that most of the top 10 countries are in fact emerging markets.

"There are also surprises about the least equal countries for multimillionaires, although some are obvious.

"In Saudi Arabia, women can only work in jobs that don't bring them into contact with men, which obviously stifles economic opportunity.

"Countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and New Zealand we might well assume had a fairer distribution of wealth with their liberal politics and diversified economies, so it is surprising to find otherwise," Mr Spero said.

"It is worth remembering, of course, that women make up over half the global population, so we can't really say any country is gender-equal until its wealth is divided much more along those lines.

"What is shocking is that no country is anywhere near that yet."

The research also shows that the UK sits 15th in the world and 10th in Europe in terms of its percentage of female multimillionaires.

"As always with the UK's global performance, it's a case of 'could do better' with the gender balance, sitting near the middle of the table," Mr Spero said following the release.

"As our economic recovery takes hold, perhaps we should start thinking about trying to encourage women specifically to pursue entrepreneurial ideas.

"According to the 'Harvard Business Review', female entrepreneurs make 20pc more revenue with 50pc less investment, so helping women into business is good for us all."

Irish Independent

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