Gap widens between US and Aussie women
Although the number of women serving as Fortune 500 directors has risen a little in the past few years, one significant gain has been made.
The Harvard Business Review reports that the percentage of women in critical audit, compensation and corporate governance committees of the biggest companies is increasing markedly. And significantly more women have become lead directors (a pivitol position on a board where the chairman is also CEO).
In 2001 just 1.8% of lead directors were women. In 2007, it has risen to 8.1%.
Meanwhile more than 80% of Fortune 500 boards have at least one woman on their board, so it is now the norm for male directors to interact with female directors.
So how does Australia compare? Recent data from Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace shows that more than half the companies in the ASX200 have no women on their boards. Only 2% of chairs and chief executives of boards are women, only 8.3% of board directors are women, and only 10% at the executive management level are women.
Even worse, while the participation of women at senior ranks in the US gets better, Australia has slipped backwards on almost all categories since 2006.