Published on Oct 3, 2017

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Women in Business Leadership

How does your company stack up when it comes to gender equality among decision-makers? Do you know what the benefits of including knowledgeable women in leadership teams are?

The effort to include more women in leadership roles turns out to have benefits that go beyond equality and fairness.

The benefit of women in business leadership roles is considerable. According to Bloomberg, a study by Nordea Bank AB found companies with a female business leader, for example, a CEO or head of a board of directors, beat their industry performance benchmark in the years since 2009, with the exception of just one year.

Of the almost 11,000 publicly traded companies around the world examined by Nordea Bank AB, those with a female lead perform better than industry benchmarks.


Study designer, Robert Naess of Nordea Bank AB, speculated that women may deliver better results due to a more conservative business outlook. Naess also suggested in such a competitive environment only high-calibre women make it into leadership roles.

Deloitte surveyed close to 7,000 companies in 44 countries across the globe and compiled data on a further 20 countries for the fifth edition of their report, ‘Women in the Boardroom:  a global perspective’.  Deloitte found overall, 15% of all board seats in the countries surveyed are held by women, a 3% increase since 2015.

Deloitte found that companies with a vision embracing diversity that includes but is not limited to gender consistently outperform their peers, a statement consistent with Nordea Bank AB’s findings.

How does Australia stack up?

In Australia, the increase of 5% is considerably better, with 20.4% of board seats held by women. We are not yet doing as well as our friends across the pond in New Zealand, who experienced an increase of women in the boardroom of over 10% since 2015.

Australia’s increasing numbers are significant because we have no mandated gender quotas for our companies. Two years ago, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) set a voluntary goal of 30% for women in leadership roles, to be reached by 2018.

As of November 2016, 64 of the ASX200 have reached this goal, while the number of companies with no women on their boards dropped from 30 companies in 2015 to 16 companies in November 2016.

In Australia, 5.7% of CEO’s are women. The industries with the highest percentage of women in boardrooms are financial services (22%), consumer business (21%), technology, media and telecommunications (17%), energy and resources (18%) and life sciences and health care (19%).

Women in Leadership

If you are a woman in business, the Women in Leadership Summit 2017 is being held October 24-26 at Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney. Visit WIL Summit for more information.

Read the Bloomberg Nordea Bank AB article, or click the link for the full Deloitte Women in the Boardroom 2017 report.