Women still locked out of the board room

A new survey shows the number of women on Australian boards and in management positions has declined sharply since 2006.

A new survey shows the number of women on Australian boards and in management positions has declined sharply since 2006.

The results are contained in this year’s Australian Census of Women in Leadership, compiled annually by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.

The survey reveals the number of women executive managers in the ASX200 has dropped from 12% in 2006 to 10.7%, or 182 positions. The number of female CEOs has dropped from six in 2006 to just four in 2008.

Women hold just 8.3% of board positions, down from 8.7% in 2006.

The number of businesses with no women executive managers rose to 45.5% from 39.5% in 2006. Just 54.5% have one women in an executive management position – lower than the US, Canada and South Africa.

The number of women in line-management roles has declined to levels seen before 2004, at 5.9%, compared to 7.4% in 2006.

EOWA director Anna McPhee says business leaders and employers should be concerned about the “chronic waste of female talent”.

“At the 2006 census we described the pace of change as glacial, in 2008 the results show that women’s progress is melting away,” she says.

“The dearth of women at the top levels of business is the result of fewer opportunities, hostile cultures and outdated work practices that haven’t kept pace with women’s increased education levels, experience and ambition to be among the people influencing Australia’s future.”

 

Visit Women’s Agenda for more news and advice for professional women.

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