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2018 Senior Executive Census: Chief Executive Women

Women leaders enabling women leaders
September 2018

Spencer Stuart partnered with Chief Executive Women (CEW) and Bain & Company on the 2018 Senior Executive Census. This annual study measures progress in gender balance at Australia’s largest companies. Here are some highlights from this year’s report:

  • Women make up almost a quarter (23%) of the executive leadership teams (ELT) of the ASX200.
  • Men hold 93% of ASX200 CEO roles
  • Men hold 88% of ASX200 CFO roles
  • 22 ASX200 companies have 40% or more women in their ELT
  • 177 ASX200 companies have one or more women in their ELT

Notable changes since the 2017 CEW Senior Executive Census:

  • The total number of women in ASX200 ELTs increased by 49, with women now accounting for 23% of ELT roles, up from 21%
  • The number of ASX200 female CEOs increased to 14 from 11
  • The number of ASX200 female CFOs increased to 24 from 17
  • 82 ASX200 companies grew the percentage of female representation on their ELT
  • The number of ASX200 companies with no women on their ELT decreased from 41 to 23

While women have seen increased representation in certain functions, such as HR and corporate affairs, progress has been minimal when it comes to roles that are traditional paths to the top.

“Along with line roles with P&L accountabilities, CFO, COO, and strategy roles are also potential career paths to the CEO role,” said Kerri Burgess, a consultant in Spencer Stuart’s Sydney office who advises organizations on CEO succession. “Whilst the percentage of women CFOs has increased from 9% to 12% this year, the percentages of COO and strategy roles held by women have both remained at 15%. These are roles which companies should look to place more female talent into if they aspire to have more female CEOs and ELT members.”

Read the full report