Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Glass ceiling gets thicker for NZ business women

Glass ceiling gets thicker for NZ business women

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

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news