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

 


Lack of female quota culture harming company performance

Lack of female quota culture harming company performance

April 14, 2014

New Zealand’s low proportion of female board members on large listed companies is solidifying the glass ceiling for women, a University of Canterbury gender quality expert says.

The 2012 New Zealand Human Rights Commission census of women’s participation report found women held a mere 14.75 percent of private sector New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) 100 directorships.

Statistics recently released by the NZX for 109 listed companies indicate this percentage may have declined slightly, with just 12 percent of directors being women.

Canterbury Associate Professor Annick Masselot says that New Zealand approach lacks positive measure such as a quota aimed at getting more women onto private sector boards.

``By contrast, in the public sector, where government has actively appointed women, a total of 40.5 percent of ministerial appointees to state sector boards and committees are women.

``The introduction of quotas in New Zealand is a taboo topic. It has been argued that women do not want these jobs, are not qualified, nor experienced enough to be on company boards and that possibly such positions are incompatible with motherhood.

``However, gender quotas do not automatically imply that a female applicant can be appointed to a position over a more qualified experienced male applicant. Most of the New Zealand knee jerk criticism of quotas is based on the idea of a man-ban. In reality and counter intuitively, it is the status quo that is actually working against meritocracy.

``New Zealand has legal basis for taking action and moving forwards in this area. There are also examples abroad of various ways of applying gender quotas in company boards, ranging from hard legislative measure with sanctions like Norway to soft self-regulation as in Australia.

``So why should we care if New Zealand ever gets over its fear of gender quota? The global financial crisis arguably caused by the actions of some very white male boards of directors has had an impact on all people, not just on men.

``New Zealand is losing out on some talented women. Gender quotas are becoming more common in Europe but also in Australia and even in Asian countries such as India and Malaysia. These countries are making the most of the talent pool.

``The literature provides an element of support for gender quotas, with several studies finding that having women on boards leads to an improvement in financial metrics compared to companies with no female board members.

``Women represent over 60 percent of graduated students in New Zealand universities. A Westpac survey this year found 55 per cent of women aged 19 to 29 aspire to be a general manager, head of division or a chief executive which shows that there is an apparent desire by women to reach high positions in their chosen field of employment.’’

Associate Professor Masselot is conducting a comparative study on corporate quotas across the European Union, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news