CEW and Bain released this report after surveying more than 800 Australian business professionals from listed and non-listed companies.

The report highlights that women have been graduating from university at higher rates than men since 1985, yet men have a 9-times better chance of making it to senior executive ranks than women in large corporations. This is despite almost equal levels of ambition for senior leadership positions between women and men, according to the study. It found that women are half as likely as men to recommend their organisation as a place to work. And 53% women are detractors of their organisations as a place where women can progress to senior levels.

The results discredit the notion that achieving equal representation of women in executive positions is simply a matter of time. They show that the biggest factor in enabling women to reach their full potential is the presence of women in leadership positions.

This is the third in a series of gender parity surveys by global management consulting firm Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women.

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