“Where are the women?” is the headline of a story in AFR Boss magazine today. It looks at the abysmal record of large Australian corporates to get women into their boardrooms. It also notes that while women make up half the workforce in these large corporates, they usually only have two female directors on the board.
But if Boss magazine can’t find them, we can! The answer may be that the smart ones are shunning corporate life to run their own businesses.
The SmartCompany50 list of fast growing and innovative companies shows that 20% of the companies have female founders. Kosmas Smyrnios, professor of management at RMIT University, and who studies fast growth companies, points out that this is a big increase on other years.
Other studies on women running fast growth companies show that usually about 5% to 10% are run by females, he says. “So 20% is a great result, and shows that maybe the trend of women to start and run their businesses, which has occurred in the US, is beginning to be happen here.”
To read case studies of the women’s successful businesses come back to SmartCompany.com.au tonight at about 6pm when the winners of the SmartCompany 2007 Awards will be announced.