Australian firms lagging behind on gender equality

HRM 29 Nov 2012

Less than one in 10 directors in Australia are women, according to data from The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA).

Two-thirds of Australia’s top 500 companies had no female executives, leading EOWA to call for female quotas in the boardroom. Out of the companies, only 12 had a female CEO.

Without a quota system, EOWA director Helen Conway said that "it will take decades before women achieve any meaningful representation".

Although Australia is still ahead of New Zealand and Britain in terms of gender equality, it still falls behind other countries such as South Africa, the US and Canada.

"Frankly you'd expect to see more progress," said Conway, in a report by AFP. "Companies have failed to develop and maintain a strong pipeline of female talent, and you can see this in the negligible growth in female executive management."

Gender equality in Australia has been a hot topic in Australia after Prime Minister Julia Gillard blasted opposition leader Tony Abbott over his "sexist" remarks and footage of her speech went viral online worldwide.

"I've had enough, Australian women have had enough. When I see sexism and misogyny I'm going to call them for what they are," she said.



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