Australian Bureau of Statistics
4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Jan 2012
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2012
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LEADERS IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS (CEOs) IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES (a)(b)
BOARD DIRECTORS IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES (a)(b)
EXECUTIVE MANAGERS IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES (a)(b)
PROPORTION OF TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES WITH AT LEAST ONE MALE/ FEMALE EXECUTIVE MANAGER (a)(b)
LEADERS IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES
At 30 April 2010, only six Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the top 200 ASX companies (3%) were female. Females occupied only 8% of the board directorships (123 out of 1,467 seats) and 8% of total executive manager positions (104 out of 1,300) in these companies.
Corporate leadership is an important aspect of governance in Australian society. The business sector drives our economy, influences policy, and provides leadership and support in the community. Gender diversity in corporate leadership indicates the level of access and support available for women to take up business leadership roles. (Endnote 1)
CEOs IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES
The Australian Government Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) collects information on women in executive management and board director positions by conducting a census of Australia's top 200 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX 200). The 3% of CEOs of the top 200 ASX companies at 30 April 2010 who were females (six CEOs) compares to 2% in 2008 (four CEOs) and 4% (eight CEOs) in 2003.
BOARD DIRECTORS IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES
The proportion of board directorships of the top 200 ASX companies occupied by women (8% or 123 out of 1,467 seats) hasn't changed from 2008 when 125 out of 1,504 seats were occupied by women. The number of board directorship seats held by women has changed little from 2003 (121 actual seats) to 2010 (123 seats). However, while the number of women holding board seats in larger companies may be increasing over time, compositional change within the top 200 ASX companies may mask this development. For example, companies with relatively higher female representation on their boards (e.g. from the finance sector) may be replaced in ASX ranking by companies with much lower female representation on their boards (e.g. from mining), and, of course, the reverse may occur.
Board directors by industry
The EOWA collects information on female board directors by industry groups classified according to Global Industry Coding System (GICS).
Among the top 200 ASX companies, the industry groups with the highest proportion of female board directors at 30 April 2010 were Insurance; Consumer Services; Banks; Software and Services; and Diversified Financials. In contrast, the Automobile and Components industry group had no female board directors. Other industry groups with the proportion of female board directors at 5% or less were Capital Goods; Materials; Media; and Utilities.
EXECUTIVE MANAGERS IN TOP 200 ASX COMPANIES
On 30 April 2010, 8% of executive managers in the top 200 ASX companies were women (104 out of 1,300). In 2010, executive managers were termed as 'executive key management personnel' and this excluded non-executive directors. By applying the same definition to 2008 figures, 7% of executive management personnel positions were occupied by women (81 out of 1,152).The proportion of companies with at least one female executive manager increased from 25% in 2008 to 38% in 2010. (Endnote 2)
It is not possible to compare the proportion of female executive managers (executive key management personnel) in 2010 and 2008 with the proportions in previous years due to the definitional change. However, the comparison between 2008 and previous years can be made by applying the old definition of executive managers. Using the old definition, there were 182 out of 1,700 executive managers (11%) who were female in 2008, down from 12% (222 out of 1,856) in 2006, but up from 8% (113 out of 1,338) in 2002.
Line and support positions
People in line manager positions in a company have responsibility for profit-and-loss or direct client service. Support manager positions provide functional support to the line operations. Experience in line manager positions is considered essential for employees seeking to rise to the top corporate positions. (Endnote 2)
At 30 April 2010, out of the 1,300 executive key management personnel positions, 81% (1,047) were line manager roles and remaining 19% (253) were support manager roles. Women held 4% of the line manager roles and 24% of the support manager roles.
In 2008, by applying the old definition of executive managers, women occupied 6% of line manager roles and 23% of support manager roles. The proportion of line manager roles occupied by women declined from 2006 (7%) while the proportion of support manager roles occupied by females did not change (23%).
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010, Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010, (cat. no. 1370.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.
2. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA), 2010, Australian Census of Women in Leadership, 2010 <www.eowa.gov.au>.
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This page last updated 2 August 2012