Australian Census of Women in Leadership

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Australian Census of Women in Leadership

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Title: Australian Census of Women in Leadership
Author: Nielsen, Bo; Nielsen, Sabina; Klettner, Alice; Boersma, Martijn
Abstract: The business case for advancing more women into leadership is clear for companies globally. Whilst this is an issue of equality, it’s also about accessing markets, productivity and economic opportunity. ANZ has made good progress: three women sit on our Management Board; 38% of all management roles and 24% of our most senior executive positions are held by women; and females lead key global businesses and countries in our super regional growth strategy. However, further gains are now hard won and largely incremental. Looking at the results of EOWA’s 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership, it seems we are not alone. Given the high proportion of Australian women with a tertiary education - and indeed placed within junior and middle management ranks - the Census results demonstrate the pace of progression is far too slow. Extensive local and international research tells us there is no ‘silver bullet’. In fact, I believe as CEOs and business leaders our approach must now focus on gender balancing our businesses with a fine tooth comb. We need to go beyond high level targets, discrete programs and initiatives and engage women and men in this major opportunity. For example, at ANZ we are working to ensure women have access to a breadth of critical experiences and development opportunities throughout their careers to position them well for senior executive roles into the future. We have set targets for at least 40% female representation amongst participants in our key recruitment, talent and development programs, in addition to our medium term goal to achieve at least 40% representation of women in management overall. More broadly, senior women consistently cite an inclusive and supportive line manager as a defining factor in their progression. It follows that if we want more women in our senior ranks, constructive, inclusive and supportive leaders should become the norm in Australian business rather than the exception. Flexible work options assist in helping people balance their caring responsibilities and other commitments. But there’s more we can do to role model and promote flexibility, especially as such practices also build a more agile, productive and capable workforce. I recommend this report to all business leaders and urge all executives and directors to accept accountability for ensuring the next Census delivers better results.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8597
Date: 2012-12-13

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