Asians are more eager to be CEO than Americans and Europeans - study

KUALA LUMPUR: Not everyone wants to be a CEO of a large company, but executives in Asia-Pacific - both males and females - are more likely to aspire for it than their peers in North America and Europe.

Global public relations firm Weber Shandwick said a study conducted by it and KRC Research found that 37% of male executives and 27% of female executives in this region would want to helm a big company.

These figures are higher than North American execs (22% of males and 9% of females) and for European execs (25% of males and 22% of females).

Latin America is represented by Brazil, where 46% of male execs and 34% of female execs would want to be CEO of a large company.

The study is based on an online survey of more than 1,750 senior executives across 19 countries in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

According to the findings, few global senior executives – 29% – have the desire to lead large companies.

Women executives with an interest in the CEO position are especially in short supply, as they are much less likely than their male peers to want to be chief executive one day (23% versus 32%, respectively).

“Yet when female executives work for a female CEO, women’s interest climbs to 29%,” Weber Shandwick said.

Weber Shandwick president Gail Heimann said in a statement: “Our research indicates that when women work for female CEOs, they are more motivated to strive to be corporate leaders themselves. These results lead to the undeniable conclusion that if we really want gender equality at the top, we must promote more women into CEO positions and do it now.”

Weber Shandwick chief reputation strategist Leslie Gaines-Ross said when it came to the reputation of a company and its market value, CEO gender did not matter,

“Where CEO gender does count is in the war for female talent at the top, which is no small matter. Having more highly regarded female CEOs at the top helps to retain women at their companies,” she added.

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