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We could be waiting 100 years for gender parity in Australia’s top CEO positions

Chief Executive Women Census

It's true that we're no longer measuring the progress of feminism by the success of women at the top. We left that mentality in the dust when the girl boss fell from her precarious soapbox. But it is nonetheless striking to learn that when it comes to gender parity among the top 300 ASX companies, we could be waiting a century for women to fill 40% of CEO positions if things continue at the current pace. This trend data comes after the Chief Executive Women Census revealed its findings on September 6.

In fact, it's not just that the road to representation isn't happening as quickly as we'd like, but rather many of the ASX300 companies are going backwards when it comes to gender balance among the top CEOs. Overall, there are 18 female CEOs on the ASX300 list, with 10 of those women represented in the top 100 companies. But this number has not increased in the last year.

What's more, the findings show that 47 companies have reported a total absence of women from their executive teams, compared to 2021 when that number was 44. And when it comes to hiring, the data shows that although 28 CEOs were appointed in the last year, it turns out only four of them were women. Disappointing, but certainly not surprising.

Trickle down feminism doesn't work, we know this much to be true. But how can we expect anything to change when the people in the most powerful positions are crusty white men, majority of which go by the name of John or David. No, seriously.

President of Chief Executive Women Sam Mostyn told the ABC that what these findings reveal is that, "there's either a failure of imagination and commitment" or it's that prominent figure are "not realising the value to the company of committing to your gender balance leadership".

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called the census report a "wake-up call”.

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