When it comes to helping women succeed in business, U.S. companies are lagging behind businesses in emerging markets, Fortune magazine reported.


Only 20 percent of senior corporate leaders in America are women, according to a 2013 report by Grant Thornton. Likewise, other G7 countries are lagging behind, including Japan (7 percent) and the United Kingdom (19 percent). But several emerging market countries have a higher percentage of female leadership on company boards as well in executive roles.


More than half of corporate leaders in China are women, followed by Estonia (40 percent), Vietnam (33 percent), and Botswana (32 percent), which all rank in the top 10.


According to an earlier Fortune articlethe European Union has taken aggressive steps to get more women on boards, with the European Commission Vice President Viviane Redding advocating a law that would require that women make up 40 percent of the board members of European companies by 2020.


Norway was the first country to introduce gender quotas for boards in 2008, and since then, other European countries, including Italy, France and Belgium, have followed suit.