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Queensland’s Push For More Women on Boards



Last week Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk announced that over the next year the Queensland Government are going to have a strong focus on female recruitment, specifically the recruitment of women as leaders.

Ms Palaszczuk plans to build on the actions put in place by former labor Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, who in 2007 launched a ‘women on boards’ website where women interested in board positions could find information on how to apply.

Ms Palaszczuk, along with her deputy and cabinet are planning to start heavily advertising for expressions of interest to build a register of women to fill vacancies as they arise across government bodies.

Currently there are 320 Queensland government bodies, but only 31 per cent of those board positions are filled by women.

This is a key statistic that Ms Palaszcuk says the Queensland Government wish to change in order for the state to have equal gender representation.

“It is time for Queensland to benefit from the wealth of untapped experience, that more female leaders will bring and also for the Government to set a positive example for industry to follow” She said at Parliament House last Thursday.

As of April 2015, 20.4 per cent of ASX 200 boards within Australia are made up of women, while a total of 30 boards within the ASX 200 still do not have any female representatives. However the number of women appointed to ASX 200 boards has increased since 2012;  41 women were appointed in 2012 while 53 women were appointed in 2015. Hopefully this number can continue to grow as the Queensland Government roll out their ‘women on board’ initiative.

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Boosting Women’s Ambition and Confidence in The Workforce


A recent study in the U.S. has revealed that female workers’ confidence and ambition decrease the longer they work in an organisation.

The global consulting company, Bain & Company released the findings on a recent study done on ambition within the workforce. The study asked more than 1,000 men and women in a mix of U.S. companies two questions: “Do you aspire to top management within a large company?” and “Do you have the confidence you can reach top management?”. The results showed a significant difference between women who had just started at a company and those that had been there for two years or more.

Women with two years or less of work experience slightly led men in terms of ambition, based on their positive answers to the two questions above. However, for women who had more than two years on the job, aspiration and confidence plummeted to 60% and nearly 50%, respectively. These declines came independent of marriage and motherhood status. Alternately, the male candidates in comparison experienced much smaller changes and only suffered a 10% dip in confidence overall.

When the same two questions were asked more senior managers, the percentage rose for both genders, but women never regained the level of aspiration that newcomers had. It remained 60% lower than men, whose rates shot up. Furthermore, the percentage of male more-senior managers who were confident that they would reach the top jobs was almost twice the percentage of female managers.

Bain & Company then asked the group a second set of questions: Do you see yourself fitting into the typical stereotypes of success within the company?” and “Have your supervisors been supportive of your career aspirations?” New workers of both genders had similar responses […]

Studies Show Early Human Societies focused on Gender Equality





While many argue that the issue of gender inequality and the attitudes of men as ‘breadwinners’ and women as ‘homemakers’ has been ingrained into our culture since the formation of human society, new research has revealed that the earliest societies were likely to have been founded on equal rights and responsibilities for both men and women.

Mark Dyble, an anthropologist from University College London who led the study on the pre-historic communities, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.”

The scientists collected genealogical data from two hunter-gatherer groups that originated from the Congo and the Philippines. This data included kinship relations, movement between camps and residence patterns, through hundreds of interviews. In both cases, both genders tended to live in groups of around 20, moving roughly every 10 days and subsisting on hunted game, fish and gathered fruit, vegetables and honey and had equal weight in making decisions for the community.

The authors of the study, argue that sexual equality may have proved an evolutionary advantage for early human societies, as it would have fostered wider-ranging social networks and closer cooperation between unrelated individuals. 

“It gives you a far more expansive social network with a wider choice of mates, so inbreeding would be less of an issue,” said Dyble. “And you come into contact with more people and you can share innovations, which is something that humans do par excellence.”

The study suggests that it was only with the dawn of agriculture, when people were able to accumulate resources for the first time, that an imbalance emerged. “Men were able to start […]

Women leaders within the finance sector can contribute to better and more ethical finance according to reports.



An increase in female leaders within the finance sector can contribute to better and more ethical finance practices, according to finance expert Christine Lagarde.

International Monetary Fund managing director, Ms Lagarde has called on global financial institutions to appoint more women in leadership roles at the Finance and Society conference in Washington this week.

Currently 42 percent of women across the world lack access to basic financial services, compared with 35 percent of men. Only 20 percent of bank board positions are filled by women and only 3 percent of bank CEO roles are held by women. While in Australia alone, the boards of the country’s banks contain relatively few women. ANZ Banking group has 2 female board of directors of the total 8 directors, Nab had 2 female board of directors out of 11 and Westpac had 2 female board directors out of 8.

Ms Lagarde, a former French finance minister and the first woman to hold the post of finance and economy minister of a G-7 country emphasised the importance of bridging this gap. She argued encouraging greater financial inclusion will have the ability to empower women economically and allow them to invest in further education.

In addition, she claimed female leadership would benefit leading financial institutions. “ Several studies have shown that female leadership is more inclusive” Ms Lagarde argued.

“What would have happened if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters?” She asked referring to the failed Wall Street bank, Lehman Brothers.

The chair of the US Federal Reserve Janet Yellen, reinforced this statement arguing that inclusive leadership within the financial division has “disproportionately benefited the poor and served to alleviate economic inequality”.

Both women were speaking in response to the findings of the Commission on Banking Standards, […]

Women Still Behind on Career and Pay According to UN





The UN have just released a brand new report on the global progress of women, within the workforce and within society as a whole. The results are somewhat sobering.

According to the report which was released this Tuesday, the UN found that worldwide, women earn 24% less than men on average, while they do almost two and a half times the amount of housework.

Women in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa experience the biggest pay gap, while women in the Middle East and North Africa experience the smallest.

Australia was not immune to these poor statistics, with the report specifically mentioning the fact that Australia’s pay gap has widened between 2000 and 2010.

The report suggested this is partly because women are still over-represented in clerical and support positions. On average worldwide, 63% of women are in clerical and support positions compared to 33% of women in managerial occupations.

Another factor is time, as 39% of employed women worldwide with children under six are the sole carer. Consequently many women cannot invest in the time and energy needed to take on managerial and key-decision making roles while also caring for their family.

Despite these sobering statistics the UN believes gender equality especially within the workforce, is an achievable goal.

Key actions the UN recommend for this to happen is firstly, to properly value female-dominated occupations, including care jobs so that levels of remuneration are commensurate with worker’s skills and the contribution of their work to well-functioning economies and societies more broadly. Secondly, they encourage providing careers advice for young women and encouragement to study science, technology, mathematics and other male dominated subjects. Finally, they heavily encourage governments to provide child allowances to support families with the costs of raising children as […]