Over recent years, there has been growing concern about the under-representation of women in leadership across industry.

Organisations are deploying a range of strategies to address the known issues affecting women’s advancement, such as the challenge of balancing of work and family, biases, and barriers that keep women from many of the roles that typically lead to senior leadership.

Yet despite this scope of activities and the good intentions behind them, progress has been too slow.

This is why the Business Council of Australia, McKinsey & Company and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency teamed up to undertake this important study. Using three years of WGEA data and more than 40 interviews, this report lays bare the relationships between the actions companies are taking and the outcomes they achieve.

Put simply, we wanted to use the data to get behind all the activity to find out what is actually working.

What is revealed in this report is a common recipe for success among those companies that have above-average representation of women in top roles – a suite of 10 practices that are proven to be effective and can be implemented across industries.

The report reveals how high-performing companies enact the full suite of 10 practices, rather than taking a piecemeal approach, and how those practices can be customised to overcome each company’s unique challenges and drive greater acceptance across their workforce.

With this report, organisations that want and need to drive change now have a blueprint for success that can be tailored and embedded throughout their culture and strategy.

There is a growing recognition in Australia’s business community that increasing women’s representation in leadership and board positions is critical to having better run, more effective companies that can respond to the diverse demands of an ever-changing business environment.

We hope you will find this report to be an important contribution towards that goal.

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