Female ASX200 chief executives drop

The number of women in chief executive positions in the ASX200 has fallen from 14 in 2018 to just 12 today.

The Chief Executive Women 'ASX200 Senior Executive Census 2019' revealed the disappointing figures for women in leadership positions.

Only two women were appointed chief executive of ASX200 companies during the period, compared to 23 men - Jolie Hudson from Spark New Zealand and Shemara Wikramanayake from Macquarie Group.

However, there were some positives for women in the executive suite.

The proportion of women in chief financial officer roles went up to 16%, from 12% in 2018.

More than half of ASX200 companies were found to have absolutely no women in their executive leadership teams.

There has also been no rise in the number of women in line roles.

Meanwhile, in those companies that do have a woman in the top job women make up 23% of executive leadership team and line roles - whereas, where the chief executive is a man the portion is 14%.

Only 4% of ASX200 companies have gender balance in line roles.

With women only making up 25% of executive leadership teams across the whole ASX200, Chief Executive Women is reminding people that 40%-60% would be considered a gender balance.

Of the female appointments to executive leadership teams, the vast majority (71%) were appointed to functional roles like human resources, corporate affairs, legal and marketing.

Chief Executive Women president Sue Morphet said: "With few exceptions, progress towards gender balance at the executive level is slow, and at the very top it has gone backwards."

"There are still 17 of Australia's largest listed companies that have no women on their executive leadership team. Isn't it absurd that in 2019, 17 companies have yet to appoint at least one woman to their leadership team from within their own organisation."

Chio Verastegui, partner at Bain & Company, said: "Improving the gender balance at all levels of leadership will require companies to consider giving women in functional roles - like human resources or legal - the opportunities to gain line management experience."

"Without this experience, opportunities for women to progress to the chief executive position will remain limited."

Read more: Chief Executive WomenASX200 Senior Executive CensusChio VerasteguiJolie HudsonMacquarie GroupShemara WikramanayakeSpark New ZealandSue Morphet
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