Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Glass ceiling gets thicker for NZ business women

Glass ceiling gets thicker for NZ business women

7 March 2014

The glass ceiling that women must push through to gain board or senior management roles in New Zealand businesses appears to be getting thicker and more difficult to penetrate, according to the latest research from Grant Thornton.

Figures released from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, show that New Zealand women are going backwards on several fronts when it comes to senior management and boardroom appointments.

Stacey Davies, partner, Grant Thornton New Zealand, said that in the last 10 years, the proportion of senior roles filled by women had not changed from 31%, against a global average that has increased from 19% to 24%.

“In 2004 New Zealand was ranked fourth in the world of the countries surveyed, whereas now we are 15th – that’s a big fall. Whereas once we were world leaders, we are now followers and looking likely to fall further behind going by other indicators in the survey.

“The number of businesses in New Zealand that have no women in senior management roles has increased from 26% in 2012 to 32% in 2014, going against the global trend where there has been a slight decrease from 34% to 33%,” she said.

“And only 7% of New Zealand businesses are looking to hire or promote women into senior management over the next 12 months. This is nearly half of last year’s already low figure of 13%.

Even on the question of introducing a quota system to guarantee a percentage of women in senior management or board positions New Zealand went against the global trend. In New Zealand the number supporting a quota dropped from 44% to 38% over the last year, almost a direct flip of international figures which went from 37% to 45%.

“Support amongst businesses for quotas is steadily growing and regulation in Europe seems to be moving in that direction. Personally, I have mixed feelings about quotas – if they shine a spotlight on the shortfall of women on boards then that is helpful, but we certainly do not want to get to a point where women are simply brought in to make up the numbers. I am more interested in what businesses can do to facilitate the path of women to the boardroom.”

Davies said that these figures are disappointing as women in New Zealand are more educated than they have ever been, yet the numbers holding down senior management positions is static at best and starting to be overtaken by the rest of the world. In 2010 there were more female than male tertiary graduates, with 59% of all tertiary graduates being women, holding 64% of bachelor degrees.

“The survey also identified that globally, the number of women graduates finding employment as a percentage of their male counterparts is surprisingly low and this percentage is further watered down later in their careers by childbirth and motherhood.

“From personal experience, I know that to hold down a senior management role requires time and commitment and if you have been out of the management front line for a year or so then it can be daunting stepping back into the fray.

‘Some form of mentoring scheme while these women get back up to full speed again would be very supportive and could result in more women returning to the level of position they once had.

“Unfortunately, only 1% of businesses surveyed in New Zealand run a specific programme to support and mentor women. Perhaps this area needs to be re-evaluated.

“It is well proven that greater diversity in decision making produces better outcomes. For businesses, better decisions mean stronger growth, so it is in the interest of New Zealand business in general to facilitate the path of women from the classroom to management to the boardroom. The trend is worrying, but the number of women tertiary graduates is encouraging. We just need to make the path from academia to management easier,” she said.

For a copy of the full report click here: http://www.grantthornton.co.nz/Assets/documents/pubSeminars/IBR-2014-women-in-business-report.pdf

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of more than 12,500 businesses per year across 45 economies. This unique survey draws upon 22 years of trend data for most European participants and 11 years for many non-European economies. For more information, please visit: www.internationalbusinessreport.com

Data collection
Data collection is managed by Grant Thornton’s core research partner, Experian. Questionnaires are translated into local languages with each participating country having the option to ask a small number of country specific questions in addition to the core questionnaire. Fieldwork is undertaken on a quarterly basis. The research is carried out primarily by telephone.

Sample
IBR is a survey of both listed and privately held businesses. The data for this release are drawn from interviews with 6,700 chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives from all industry sectors conducted between November 2013 and February 2014.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news