Julia Irvine 21 Jun 2017 11:46am

GT's Romanovitch gets 88% employee endorsement

Grant Thornton chief executive Sasha Romanovitch has received a huge endorsement from GT employees who voted her in as one of the highest rated CEOs in the UK this year

Romanovitch, who became the first ever female head of a UK top six accountancy firm in 2015, is ranked 35th in recruitment consultant Glassdoor’s 2017 employees’ choice top 50 CEOs listing, released today. She received an approval rating of 88%.

This is the first time she has been placed in the listing, which has expanded from the UK top 25 last year to the top 50 this time.

Last year three accountancy firm CEOs made it into the UK top 25 – David Sproul of Deloitte (21st), Denis Nally of PwC (22nd) and Mark Weinberger of EY (25th).

This year, Nally’s replacement at the head of PwC Bob Moritz makes it into the top 50 at 41, alongside Weinberger at 45.

Deloitte may have disappeared out of the UK rankings but its chief executive in the US, Cathy Engelbert, is one of only two accountancy firm leaders to make it into the US top 100 list.

She is ranked 40th with an employee approval rating of 94%, 30 places above EY’s Weinberger (70th).

However, Weinberger’s style as chief executive is clearly popular – he is the only accountancy firm chief executive to appear in more than one listing. As well as the UK and US lists, he also makes it into the German top 10 (in second place) and the Canadian top 25 (25th). No accountancy firm CEO made it into the top 10 list in France.

Another female accountancy firm leader – Lynne Doughtie, CEO of KPMG in Canada – makes it into the Canadian top 25 but what is clear from all five listings is that women at the top are still few and far between.

Only three women make it on to the UK list with Romanovitch: the highest placed is Philippa Jones of social housing group Bromford in 11th place; Carolyn McCall of EasyJet comes 30th and Pam Nicholson of car hire company Enterprise is ranked 49th.

Commenting on the UK results, Chris Roberts of business performance consultancy Accelerating Experience said, “The lack of female CEOs in the top 10 rated CEOs is an indictment of UK companies’ culture, rather than any reflection on the ability of female leaders.

“There are simply not enough female CEOs, and their under-representation at the highest level highlights that gender discrimination within businesses is an underlying and fundamental issue –  one that goes beyond government initiatives and ratios.”

He called for full-scale organisational change led from the top and a people strategy embraced by the executive board to ensure diversity in the workplace and more female role models in companies.

The UK is not alone in having so few women mentioned in Glassdoor’s listings. Doughtie is the only woman on Canada’s list, there are none ranked in France or Germany and, perhaps most surprisingly, only eight women are recognised in the US list.