More Women at the Helm Going Overboard?


There have been some mixed reactions following Senator Penny Wong’s announcement that the Government is looking to increase the number of women on boards. Speaking at the ‘Women in Banking and Finance 2011 Annual Forum’ last month, Senator Wong addressed the issues facing women in executive positions, stating that only three percent of ASX 200 companies have female CEOs.

Senator Wong believes that by increasing women board numbers in Government, women will be better positioned to gain the experience necessary for board positions, in both the public and private sectors.

What is the Debate Surrounding Gender Diversity?

Many people believe that the only criteria for hiring someone for a board position is one based on merit. Others firmly believe women haven’t been given a fair go in the work place, or positioned with the skills to take on top executive leadership jobs, including board positions.

Whatever your view, the idea of making more women ‘boardroom ready’ isn’t anything new. Kate Ellis, Minister for the Status of Women, states on her website, that at least 40 percent of Government board members should be women, with this target to be reached by 2015.

McKinsey (business advisors) have been studying gender diversity for years now. In their publication entitled “Women Matter”, they found that boards with more women outperformed those with no female representation. And, the 2010 survey reveals gender diversity is a performance driver! On the downside, only 28 percent of respondents identified gender diversity as a top-10 priority in their company.

Women Looking to Grow into a Board Position

The Australian Government have set up a free, confidential registration system that gives women an opportunity to be considered for appointment to a variety of Australian Government boards and decision-making bodies. The program, ‘Appoint Women’ is managed by the Australian Government Office for Women. Registration is available online at www.appointwomen.gov.au.

Is Your Resume Ready for a Board Appointment?

Resumes Australia provides Professional Resume & Executive CV writing services, designed specifically for Directors or Non-Executive Directors wishing to expand their Board portfolio, and register their corporate profile with Executive Search firms and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

For more information on Board Directors Services please review the offerings on our website.

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

2 Responses to More Women at the Helm Going Overboard?

  1. susannemoore says:

    Thanks Kylie, this has been helpful. I have completed my application and sent it off tonight as a result of seeing your blog post!

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