A report commissioned by the Federal Government has slammed systemic bias against women in the workforce. 


The Women in Leadership: Looking Below the Surface report, commissioned by the Committee for Economic development of Australia, highlights common prejudices and underlying unconscious biases that exist which hold women back in professional development.


CEDA Chief Executive Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said the report aimed to provide the facts and figures that provide a business case for resolving gender equity issues, while also highlighting some of the underlying unconscious biases that exist that are often unspoken and are hindering change.


The CEDA report, completed in conjunction with Dr Hannah Piterman, author of Unlocking Gender Potential, business adviser and cofounder of Gender Worx, draws together thought leaders, case studies and themes from CEDA's Women in Leadership series run during the last 12 months in Victoria.


"Hosting a combination of public and private sessions with both men and women enabled the identification of subtle hidden barriers that sit below the surface. These are not always readily available for scrutiny, but can see women excluded from leadership," Professor Martin said.


"Through reports such as this, CEDA aims to drive the debate around gender equity, and in turn substantiate the business case for improvements for women in leadership roles.


The report sites figures in arguing against existing business prejudices, with women making the up the following:



  • 12.5 per cent of directors in the ASX 200
  • 2.5 per cent of chairs
  • 3 per cent of CEOs
  • 8 per cent of key executive managers positions, and
  • 72 ASX 200 companies do not have women on their boards



The report can be found here