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New survey reveals gender divide in leadership perceptions

2 min read

people2people Recruitment reveals the results of their online survey around gender bias in leadership positions and recruitment in Australia.

The results show that 3 in 4 baby boomers still think of a CEO as being male, while Gen X and Y are closing the gap (67%/33% male/female respectively) and millennials have an equally balanced perspective.

However, 4 in 10 also indicated that they have been discriminated against based on their gender in the interview process over the past two years.

“It’s evident that we are seeing a mindset shift when it comes to the gender divide in leadership positions, particularly when it comes to the younger generation, said Peta Seaman, people2people Recruitment Managing Director.

“At the same time, it’s disappointing to hear that gender is still playing a role in the recruitment process.”

Seaman highlighted that this year’s International Women’s Day theme is about embracing equity. Before blaming others, it is important to acknowledge that many individuals still have an unconscious bias that might be influencing some decisions.

“It is essential to not only identify these biases but make sure they don’t impact our thought process making and our perception of others,” added Peta.

The people2people Recruitment online poll asked respondents to picture a CEO and whether this person was male or female.

Respondents who are 25 years old answered 50% male and 50% female while respondents from 25 years to 50 years old answered 67% male and 33% female.

Respondents 50 years old and above answered that when they envision a CEO, they see 74% see male CEO and 26% see a female.

Currently, in Australia, women hold only 6% of CEO roles in the ASX300, a third of Australian boards still have no female directors and only 15% of chair positions are held by females.

Peta’s top 5 tips for creating a gender-equal workplace include:

  1. Embed inclusive behaviours into your company values and competencies.
  2. Focus on skills-based assessments when it comes to recruiting and performance reviews.
  3. Provide diversity, equity and inclusion training to all employees and managers.
  4. Clearly articulate the link between diversity, equity and inclusion and organisational goals.
  5. Increase the shortlist of candidates by at least five when recruiting to ensure an even balance of female and male candidates.

Related: Survey: Workers concerned about job security, reduced income due lockdown

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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