Gender benders

Despite the plethora of evidence confirming the positive impact women have on organisational performance when they occupy senior executive roles and sit on boards of directors, gender diversity still struggles for traction at leadership levels.  New Zealand's Institute of Directors is pushing for 25 percent women directors on NZX companies. Unfortunately we're still a good 10 percentage points short of that mark – except on public sector boards. 

The number of women on the boards of the US's Fortune 500 companies has, apparently, stagnated at around 17 percent for the past couple of decades. However, they occupy something like 45 percent of senior management, though not chief executive, jobs.

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From a local perspective it could, perhaps, be worse. According to recently released figures on executive gender balance in organisations in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Japan, national culture and legislation are big gender balance factors.

Women in the US women comprise 20 percent of executive committee membership. In Germany only seven percent are women. In China and Japan the number of women on exec committees slips to four and one percent respectively.  The figures and reasons for them are contained in diversity consultancy 20-First's Global Gender Balance Country Scorecard which you can read at: 20-first.com

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