Wanted: More women leaders

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year around the world. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights and a wonderful celebration in honour of the great contribution women have afforded to social, economic, cultural and political achievements.

However, despite all the great achievements, women in leadership is an area that still requires continuous focus. Despite many steps to get more women in senior executive and board positions over the past four decades, progress remains slow.

Latest results from the 2018 -19 data show:

Women hold 14.1% of chair positions and 26.8% of directorships and represent 17.1% of CEOs and 31.5% of key management personnel.

34.0% of boards and governing bodies have no female directors. By contrast, only 0.9% have no male directors.

(Data: Australian Govt – Workplace Gender Equality Agency)

This data tells us that we are losing out on 50 per cent of the possible brainpower, the opportunity for new ideas that always occurs when increasing diversity of any group. Different backgrounds and perspectives promote more innovation and originality.

A wonderful example of what women in leadership can offer came from New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Prime minister Arden has been universally praised for her leadership through the Christchurch shootings. She displayed a more compassionate and considerate handling of the situation and showed amazing leadership qualities.

When we honour women and our partners (at home and in the workplace) as individuals who have their own careers and aspirations, and we just give to them as we like them to give to us, the world of work is a better place.   Josh Bersin

The data shows we still have some work to do to balance the ledger. I am hopeful that one day, in the not to distance future we no longer talk about Women (or Men) in leadership, instead we just identify it as LEADERSHIP.

By Andre Elcham 13/03/2020

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