Equity a boost to economy.

Bendigo is leading the way with women in leadership positions in the public and private sector – but still has a long way to go.

That’s the message from Bendigo Business Council chief executive Leah Sertori, who told the Bendigo Advertiser that having more women in leadership was the single most important step the country could take to boost productivity.

She cited research released yesterday by Women’s Health Loddonn Mallee which found that women fill as few as 30 per cent of seats on management boards across the region.

“Whilst that does leave a lot room for improvement, I would highlight that it means we are outperforming ASX 200 companies,” Ms Sertori said.

According to the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the percentage of women in the country’s top 200 companies was 21.9 per cent as of January this year.

“That shows that sometimes regional communities can offer better opportunities to access positions of leadership for women – we are outperforming a lot of our metro and corporate counterparts,” Ms Sertori said.

Ms Sertori, who is also a former regional chair and current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, said boosting female participation was not only important as a matter of principle – it also made economic sense.

“There is a fantastic report out from the ANZ which quotes extensively throughout – and backs up with hard evidence – that the biggest productivity lever that we can pull in Australia is to improve gender diversity, to improve female participation in the workforce,” she said.

“We know that having women take up roles in directing boards and in senior leadership roles is a really important model in providing pathways for women to see that they have a future, not just to participate in the workforce but to lead it.”


This article courtesy of the Bendigo Advertiser