Although management and executive roles are the most difficult to fill, only one in five senior management positions are held by women, according to a survey by ManpowerGroup, a provider of work force solutions.

To improve this situation, ManpowerGroup recommends that companies offer greater flexibility in an effort to empower women leaders. This is important as today's business environment is unpredictable and demands new approaches.

"The world simply cannot afford such a poor representation of half the talent pool when filling key leadership positions is posing such a global challenge," says Mara Swan, executive vice president of global strategy and talent at ManpowerGroup. "Growing the pipeline of women in management roles is critical to having the talent businesses need to win. Companies should revisit old-fashioned work models and people practices so that high-performing women are not prevented from rising to leadership positions."

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