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ABS: Still fewer women in positions of leadership

Men continue to hold the majority of Australia’s top leadership positions according to new Gender Indicator figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This includes senior positions of non-public sector employers, the judiciary, federal and state parliamentarians and managers in the Australian Public Service.

Gender Indicators, Australia, brings together a variety of ABS and non-ABS data, and explores the differences between men and women in our society, and how these differences are changing over time.

“In 2013-14, just 26 per cent of Key Management Personnel, 24 per cent of Board Directors and 17 per cent of CEOs were women,” said Lisa Conolly from the ABS. “Latest data also shows 35 per cent of Commonwealth justices and judges and 23 per cent of all State Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judges were women.

“The Health Care and Social Assistance (37 per cent), Education and Training (36 per cent) and Administrative and Support Services industries (21 per cent) recorded the highest proportions of women CEOs, while there were very few in the Mining (3 per cent) and Financial and Insurance Services (4 per cent).”

The situation in the public service is changing however, with the proportion of women in senior executive roles rising from 31 per cent in 2004 to 40 per cent in 2014. And in 2015, 31 per cent of Federal parliamentarians were women, up from 26 per cent in 2005.

When it comes to reward and recognition in our society, women also receive far fewer nominations than men for the Order of Australia.

“Historically, less than one in three nominations go to women, and again in 2015 they received 500 nominations compared to 1,110 for men.

“The difference is greatest at the highest tiers of the honours system, where around three times as many men receive either the Companion of the Order (AC) or Officer of the Order (AO) award in the General Division.”

In 2015, 756 men and 377 women received a General Division Order of Australia award at either the Australia Day or Queen’s Birthday announcements.

Two women received the highest honour (AC), compared to 11 men, while 22 women and 61 men received the second highest honour (AO).

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