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CEDA's 2013 Women in Leadership research explores business, economic and cultural aspects of Women in Leadership, including:

  • Barriers to equality of opportunity in the workforce;
  • Unconscious bias and the consequences to women in the workforce;
  • Implications of the current tax and transfer system and its effect on the female participation rate;
  • Financial and social outcomes for women;
  • The impact of societal expectations and culture on women's choices;
  • Personal experiences of women in the workforce throughout their career;
  • Barriers women face to progression into leadership roles;
  • Empirical evidence and policies of how to narrow the gender gap; and
  • The business case for diversity and the way forward for organisations.

The report makes recommendations on enabling workplace meritocracies, changing workplace culture and engaging leaders and introducing accountability.

In 2013, CEDA surveyed the business community, primarily its members and past Women in Leadershipevent attendees (over 600 participants) to help identify current barriers to equality of opportunity. The survey found more than 50 per cent of respondents, predominantly women, have been discriminated against on the basis of gender in the workplace.

While Australia has made some progress in getting more women into the workforce and into senior leadership positions, there is still a long way to go. Economically, Australia cannot afford to ignore the female workforce, especially as the nation's productivity remains a key priority.

Today, more women graduate from university than men and continue to perform better academically. Yet, as of December 2012, the percentage of women on ASX 200 boards was 15.4 per cent and 52 of the ASX 200 companies still did not have any women on their boards.

Clearly the gender gap remains in Australian workplaces and more needs to be done to ensure women have the same participation choices, remuneration and career possibilities as their male counterparts.

Understanding the gender gap will assist businesses to capitalise on the opportunities a more diverse workplace and talent pool offer, while enabling organisations and governments to formulate more effective strategies.

Related identifier: ISBN 0 85801 287 1

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