The Rise in Female Leadership
By Amelia Adams
A century 100 after women were granted the right to vote, there has been a slow, but steady increase in the prevalence of women in political leadership roles, as well as in the boardroom. Although the percentage of women in parliament has doubled in the past 20 years, only 22% of parliamentarians worldwide are women today (UN Women). Furthermore, there is a significant lack of women in leadership roles in retail companies, considering over 2/3 of consumers are women.
Research conducted by Women in Retail has found that “60% of people employed by the retail industry are women. 85% of all retail purchases are made or influenced by a woman, yet only 20% of executive teams and just 10% of executive boards are women.”
Research has proven that retail companies with a small proportion of females in their executive boards actually perform worse, than those with a high percentage of females. So why is it that only 17% of CEO’s are women in Australia?
However, we need to recognise that there a lot of women that are making a big difference to business in Australia and the globe. Jillian Segal the director of ASX states that “part of having a dynamic and mature society to have women, who represent half the population and the majority of decision-makers as consumers, to have a voice and play a leading role in different fields and seek to shift society for the benefit of all.”
An example of one woman who exhibits the ability that woman have to make a difference is French Politician Christine Largarde. A former lawyer, Christine was the first female chairwoman of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie between 1999 and 2004. Following her law career she moved into politics, becoming the MD of International Monetary Fund (IMF) in France in 2011. Moreover, in 2009 the Financial Times ranked her the best Minister of Finance.
Furthermore, political figures like Julia Gillard, Margret Thatcher, Hilary Clinton and Theresa May covey that women are capable in achieving great things.
Amelia Adams is a student with an interest in the arts, politics and gender equality issues.