Senior Executive Census shows not enough women in the Chief Executive pipeline

Senior Executive Census shows not enough women in the Chief Executive pipeline

Office for Women Leadership
Monday, 09 October 2017

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Chief Executive Women - senior executive census 2017

For the first time an analysis of the senior executive ranks of ASX200 businesses has been undertaken. Instead of a focus on the number of women on boards, the 2017 Chief Executive Women (CEW) ASX200 Senior Executive Census has looked at women in senior executive positions. This focus provides a more complete picture of gender disparity in Australian business.

The Census found that women make up only 21% of ASX200 executive leadership teams. This more detailed picture highlights the split between line roles and functional ones.

Line roles, such as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Group Executive, typically drive key commercial outcomes, and functional roles are responsible for Human Resources, Public Relations and legal responsibilities.

Women make up 30% of senior executive functional roles but only 12% of senior executive line roles.

Percentage of roles within executive leadership teams held by women and men, grouped by line and function.

According to CEW, 'line roles represent the most significant pipeline for the ASX200 CEOs of the future.' At present, only 5% of ASX200 CEO roles are filled by women. The number of female leaders of ASX200 businesses is unlikely to change if the current gender composition of senior executives does not change.

This Census provides the baseline from which future progress can be measured. With a continued focus on numbers of female senior executives, more nuanced strategies to increase women in leadership roles can be developed.

Read more about the CEW Census.