Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Firms with women bosses more successful:

Companies perform better when they've got women in senior management positions, a business forum has been told.
Date: February 21 2012
Editor Rating:

Carolyn Kay, a non executive director of the Commonwealth Bank, says gender diversity should be viewed as a management essential.

"It's important for women to be in decision-making levels to help reshape the culture of organisations," Ms Kay said at the Women in Leadership forum in Sydney on Monday.

Ms Kay said numerous studies have shown that companies with three or more women in senior management roles outperformed those without any women at the top.

"There are many studies - by Harvard, Catalyst (and) McKinsey to name a few - that show strong correlation between ... organisations with women at the top and the relative success of those organisations," she said.

Ms Kay said it was important for Australia's future economic health that women were employed in executive positions.

"This is important for many reasons, including increasing the tax base, supporting the ageing population and lifting the household savings rate," she said.

There does appear to have been some progress in diversifying the workplace, with statistics from the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) showing that females represented 29 per cent of all new appointments to ASX 200 companies in 2011, compared to 25 per cent in 2010.

Tina Brothers, executive director of Reibey Institute, said that corporate culture change could be achieved if it came from the top.

"If the CEO can change cultures, then the organisation can become more engaged as well," she said.

Ms Brothers said attaining gender diversity in the workplace also depended on the actions of women.

"Women need to mentor other women and support other women coming through, rather than see them as a threat."

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