As a part of our global sustainability strategy, we set our sights on making progress toward gender-balanced representation in our leadership roles throughout ACCO Brands. We set an ambitious 2025 goal of increasing the percentage of Director-level-and-above female leaders globally to 33%, and to 40% in North America.
It is fitting that on International Women’s Day, we have an opportunity to share a significant update on our progress. We are pleased to report that as we ended 2021, ACCO Brands increased the percentage of Director-level-and-above female leaders globally to 29.5%, up from the 2019 baseline of 26.6%. This is tremendous progress, particularly as most of that progress has been made through internal advancement. Additionally, we would like to celebrate the North America region, which ended the year with 40.8% of its leadership positions held by women, up from the 35.4% baseline. With a keen focus on strong development plans and an incredible bench of talent, the collective North America leadership teams have been able to achieve the 2025 goal a full four years early!
Our business has transformed to be even more brand, consumer and technology products-centered, fueling growth in all our regions. Continuing to embrace diversity, in all its forms, will no doubt lead to more ideas and improved innovation; improving our reach with increasingly diverse consumer groups around the world; and enabling us to think more holistically about our markets, our consumers and our products.
We’d like to thank all the senior executive teams around the globe for living our Leadership Promise of growing our business through growing our talent, while also role modeling our core values of respecting all individuals and embracing diversity. Through this collective leadership, we have created a culture of equity and inclusion, which are the grounding principles being honored through International Women’s Day.
Congratulations to all the women who have taken on new leadership positions throughout the year and thanks to all ACCO Brands female employees who support our business around the world.