Gillard wants people to be more receptive to women performing top jobs

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MELBOURNE - Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants people to be more receptive to women performing top jobs.

Despite Australia having a female prime minister, two female premiers and a female governor-general, it has become apparent that the corporate world is not reflecting politics.

Today, Gillard said there is no false divide between merit and gender but there are some cases where women have missed out.

Her comments come after a survey reveals the percentage of ASX 200 companies with male-only boards has actually increased, from 51 percent in 2008 to 54 percent in 2010.

And women hold only 8.4 per cent of board directorships and eight per cent of executive key management personnel positions in the ASX 200, reports.

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has said there should be a requirement for all listed companies to set targets for women on boards and in senior roles. And if Australian companies don’t change their pace, the commissioner warns she will push for quotas.

Gillard is supportive of the clamp down, saying that people needed to consider if targets will put the focus onto the breadth of talent within organisations.

Asked if she thought the issue would continue to fester as long as there was a gender debate, Gillard said: “I don’t think there is a false divide between talking about merit and talking about gender.”

“I believe that merit is equally distributed between the sexes. If merit is equally distributed between sexes and the outcome is not half-half then it must lead you to the conclusion that there are women with merit who have missed out for whatever reason,”she told the Brisbane Media Club. (ANI)

Filed under: Politics

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