Grant Thornton, a business advisory firm, polled 6900 medium-sized businesses from 26 major countries and territories in September and October last year.

The survey, published on Sunday, found women were included in the senior management of 89% of Russian companies, followed by 85% in the Philippines and 75% in the United States.

The Netherlands and Pakistan, each with 27%, were at the bottom, while in Japan the figure was 29%.

However, even in Russia, women accounted for only 42% of the total senior management posts.

Japan came last in this category with eight per cent.

"Analysing the results requires a certain amount of caution due to cultural differences," Grant Thornton said.

"Women's rights issues, religious constraints and, crucially in the modern world, economic ones, such as childcare costs, are all key factors which can help determine the levels of representation by women in senior management," it said.

The regions covered included the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.