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Lack of women in leadership positions a problem for Australians

The lack of leadership roles for Australian women continues to be a central issue in 2010, forming the focus of Macquarie University’s conference next fortnight. women in business

The Women, Management and Work conference, held on 29 and 30 July, will address recent statistics released by the Australian government that show hat women do not form the majority in any category of senior job position in any industry in Australia. The study also showed that not a single industry in Australia pays women more than they do men and most pay them less.

It is important to realise that gender still plays an important role in today’s job market, says Conference co-chair Melanie O’Connor.

“The conference has been running for 22 years, yet 22 years later we are still looking for solutions to these intractable issues. Although many Australians do not want to hear it, gender continues to act as an insidious barrier,” said Ms O’Connor.

“In 2008, there were four female CEOs in the top ASX200 companies in Australia or two percent, down from three per cent in 2006. 106 companies in the top ASX200 do not have a single woman on their boards,” said Ms O’Connor.

The conference will use presentations, round table discussions and workshops to look at ways to increase the number of women elected to parliament, appointed to boards and senior management positions as well as possible paths to salary equity. It will also include topics concerned with starting your own business.

There will be 20 speakers at the conference, including the Minister for Housing The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Telstra’s Group Managing Director of Human Resources Andrea Grant and journalist, columnist, author and media consultant Mia Freedman.

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Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke

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