Despite data backed statistics which has clearly underlined the value of women in leadership roles, this last year has seen women in CEO positions flatline and actually go backwards.
Just five per cent of ASX200 companies are now led by a woman. It appears that the ‘line roles’ and positions that typically lead to CEO appointments are overwhelmingly held by men. Two thirds of organisations do not have any women in the line roles that lead to these appointments. Women appear more in ‘support role functions’ like HR legal, risk and corporate affairs. These are areas which do not attract promotional opportunities.
Board level appointments have shown an improved gender balance as studies have clearly shown the value-added performance of those companies where the board has women among its cohort.
The pandemic has completely changed the way companies now operate. Many people now work from home and will continue to do so, albeit in a more limited way, but spending their time divided between workplace premises and home. This should provide greater opportunities for women to progress up that leadership ladder. Women may find it creates a better home/work balance when they have young children, to divide their time between the two places, home and work.
Chief Executive Women (CEW) is using these findings to issue a wake-up call to corporate Australia. Businesses should find it easier to take action to promote women and break those old barriers down.
CEW expressed concern about two other recent finding: only five per cent of leadership roles in healthcare are held by women, while the workforce is overwhelmingly women. They also found that women in senior IT positions have dropped from 21 per cent four years ago to 9 per cent today. This is another alarming statistic.
Ref: Angela Priestly
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