Women in leadership

Increases in women managers across most industries

Women’s management representation has increased in most industries, with only three sectors recording lower proportions of female managers this year (Health Care and Social Assistance, Administrative and Support Services and Accommodation and Food Services).

The biggest industry increases in female representation among managers were in Transport, Postal and Warehousing (up 1.8pp to 27.7%), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (up 1.1pp to 35.2%), Manufacturing (up 1.1pp to 24.6%), and Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services (up 1.0pp to 34.8%).

2019 Scorecard table 6 - women in management by industry

The growth in the number of women appointed to boards and governing bodies remains slow.

  • The proportion of female directors in 2018-19 was 26.8% (up 1.0pp from 2017-18).
  • The proportion of female chairs in 2018-19 remained at 14.1% (up 0.4pp from 2017-18).
  • 34.0% of boards and governing bodies have no female directors. By contrast, only 0.9% had no male directors.
2019 Scorecard chart 13 - composition of boards

The most senior roles are heavily male-dominated

The representation of women declines with seniority. However, the representation of women across all manager categories has grown consistently since 2013-14.

2019 Scorecard chart 12 - leadership levels

The Business Council of Australia, McKinsey & Company and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency teamed up to undertake a study using three years of WGEA data and more than 40 interviews. The result, Women in Leadership: Lessons from Australian companies leading the way, provides an evidence-based recipe for dismantling barriers to women’s participation at senior levels and a correlation between representation of women in senior roles and the practice of normalising flexible work.

The highest paid men in Australia are being paid at least $162,000 more than the highest paid women, but women could be on par with men in most management roles within the next two decades, our latest Gender Equity Insights report shows.

Friday 8 March 2019 is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, Balance for Better, is an opportunity to reflect on the areas where balance can better our communities, workplaces and personal lives. Here are some key facts about balance for women and work in Australia.

The highest paid men in Australia are being paid at least $162,000 more than the highest paid women, but women could be on par with men in most management roles within the next two decades, a new report shows. 

Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, in collaboration with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, has today released a report demonstrating that amongst top tier managers in Australian organisations, men are paid on average $100,000 per year more than women.

New data collected from Australian employers on the status of women and men in the workplace will look at rates of promotion by gender as well as the impact of having children on workforce participation.