Women in ASX200 companies hold just 12 per cent of high-level roles, research finds

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Women in ASX200 companies make up just 12 per cent of all high-level management roles, according to a study.

It also found that only 30 per cent of senior positions in IT, legal and strategy are held by women.

The study was published on Friday by Chief Executive Women, who collated the data in August from a census of ASX200 companies.

41 ASX200 companies, or 20.5 per cent, had zero women in their executive leadership team, 126 companies had no women in CEO positions or roles that influence commercial outcomes.

60 companies, or 30 per cent of those surveyed had no women in functional roles, such as IT, corporate affairs and legal positions.

Despite the low figures, statistics reveal there has been some improvement over the last nine years.

Data has been compared to a ASX200 leadership survey, held in 2008, that saw 46 per cent of ASX200 companies without any women in executive leadership teams.

This is against a drop to 20 per cent in 2017. Only four women held CEO positions in 2008, compared to eleven women in 2017.

Chief Executive Women president, Kathryn Fagg, told The Guardian that progress should still be recognised, despite small growth.

“We would have loved to have seen more progress, there’s no question, but there has been movement in the right direction,” she said.

The analysis would be conducted at least annually from now on, Fagg said.

“I think it is important to look at what top companies are doing as they’ll be making the changes at the forefront of what happens in out communities.”

The report concluded that in order to achieve a gender balance, companies needed females in leadership roles.

“Research and our experience confirm that the Chairman, board, CEO and leadership team must all be committed to gender balance as a priority; otherwise, the company is unlikely to make progress,” the report said.

“This leadership commitment must also translate into visible action and regular communication on why gender balance matters and how everyone benefits.”

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