Workplace gender equality: Women still under-represented in management

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Data from around 4 million employees has found that a third of companies in Australia have no women in key management jobs.

Around a third of companies in Australia have no women in key management positions, a new gender equality report has found.

Data from 4 million Australian employees found companies are failing to maximise the potential of highly educated women in the workplace.

The report 'Australia’s Gender Equality Scorecard', compiled by the federal government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, found that of the 11,000 companies surveyed, around one third had no women in important management roles.

The agency's Public Affairs Executive Manager, Yolanda Beattie, said that only 25 per cent of top management positions were filled by women.

Ms Beattie said that translated to distinct pay outcomes for women.

"Where women earn at a base salary, 20 per cent less than men - these are full time workers - on an average basis," she said.

"When you take into consideration total remuneration which looks at bonuses and other discretionally data, that pay data blows out to 25 per cent."

Ms Beattie said despite the ongoing debate about gender equality in the workplace, many employers are not taking action.

"We're seeing employers are window dressing their efforts in the form of policies and anybody that's worked in any organisation in Australia knows that it accounts for little," she said.

“It is strategies that drive action, that shape behaviours, that compel the mindset shifts that are required."

The report also found that traditionally male-dominated industries such as mining are doing a better job at promoting women into management positions that other sectors.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency said the report is the first of its kind in Australia, Ms Beattie told SBS.

"This is the first time Australia has a comprehensive view of the composition women in a third of its workforce," she said.

"The related pay data across workforce and critically, the policies employers have in place, to drive the known enablers of gender equality."

In the past, the focus has been on the composition of boards, CEOs and publically listed companies, she added.

"Never before have we been able to see the leadership pipeline laid bare and exactly where that pipeline is blocked for women in workplaces,” she said.

Ms Beattie said the collection of the data was governed by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

Fact box: the statistics

  • Women make up 35.8 per cent of full time employees
  • Women make up 26.1 per cent of key management
  • Women make up 17.3 per cent of CEOs
  • 8.8 per cent of organisations have set a target to lift women on board numbers
  • 13.6 per cent of employers have a strategy for flexible working
  • Less than 1 in 5 employers have policies to support workers experiencing domestic violence 
Source World News Australia

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