Where are the Women in Leadership in Australia

Leonie Still

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the current representational position of women in leadership in Australia, using management and board appointments as the relevant domains.Design/methodology/approach – Uses past and current official government statistics as the source of information.Findings – The review reveals that despite 30 years of considerable legislative, policy and social change in the equity area, women have not attained leadership positions in any significant numbers in Australia. Their position vis-à-vis women in other developed countries is also not at the cutting-edge. There is no one reason as to why this is so, although a lack of line management and profit centre experience is currently being touted as a major drawback. The paper suggests that other factors, such as Australia's “macho” culture and lack of acceptance of women as leaders, women's ways of communicating in the workplace, overall changes in the workplace, and generational change, also need discussion and debate. The paper recommends that governments, both Federal and State, re-engage in the equity area for further progress to take place in women's representation in leadership. Otherwise, women's leadership representation may continue to have low penetration in the workplace.Originality/value – Gives a current snapshot of women's leadership status in Australia, a fact not well known or understood by women probably because of newer emphasis on “work and family” policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-194
JournalWomen in Management Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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