In December 2009, the overall percentage of women in the company was 37%, and 40% of the board of directors were women, as were 22% of the corporate executive team. The focus on diversity issues is also reflected in the company's people strategy. One of the key priorities in 2009 has been to strengthen diversity in the leadership pipeline. The total proportion of female managers in Statoil ASA is 25%, and, among managers under the age of 45, the proportion is 34%.
Through our development programmes, we aim to increase the number of female managers, and we endeavour to give equal representation to men and women in leadership development programmes. In 2009, we worked systematically on the development, deployment and succession planning of business-critical leadership positions. Of leaders promoted to the top 170 roles in 2009, 47% were female. Of the 84 senior vice presidents in Statoil, 24% are female, while 35% of our successor pool for these roles are female.
We also devote close attention to male-dominated positions and discipline areas. In 2009, 26% of staff engineers were women, and among staff engineers with up to 20 years' experience, the proportion of women is 31%. The proportion of female skilled workers in 2009 was 16%.
We believe that being a global and sustainable company requires people with a global mindset. One way to build a global company is to ensure that recruitment processes both within and outside Norway contribute to a culturally diverse workforce. In December 2009, 4% of the managers and 7% of the rest of our employees based in our Statoil offices in Norway are of non-Norwegian origin. Outside Norway, we need to continue to focus on increasing the number of people and managers that are locally recruited, and to reduce long-term, extensive use of expats in our business operations.