none

Women excluded from Australian Boards Boys’ club - Research

24-09-2020
by 
in 

A new research released by the University of South Australia says the boy’s club syndrome may be stereotypical, but it’s a saying that still holds water when it comes to Australian boards.

 Researchers were assessing the influence of gender diversity on Australian boards, and found that a persistent boys’ club mentality may be limiting decision-making at the top.

 The research emphasized the area of corporate social responsibility initiatives as a particular problem.

 Lead researcher, UniSA’s Dr Kathy Rao, says that many Australian boards suffer from a lack of gender diversity and a male pack mentality causes biased and unbalanced decisions.

 “Women bring a unique set of values, perspectives and capabilities to top-level decision-making which can help boards address CSR issues in a more effective manner,” Dr Rao says.

 “But old-school attitudes tend to hold them back, partly because they don’t have a critical mass to push new ideas over the line, but also because there are a few powerful older male directors who are so focused on profit that they disregard CSR is ‘soft’ when it is raised by female directors.

 “The challenge is, however, that CSR is incredibly important for ethical and sustainable business, so companies are essentially shooting themselves in the foot if they purposely, or inadvertently, avoid CSR strategies.”

 Despite an increasing focus on CSR and gender diversity in Australia and around the world – including a push for gender diversity targets and disclosures from key bodies such as ASIC, ASX and AICD – gender imbalances are compounded by ‘like-attracting-like’ recruitment practices.

 Co-researcher, and Director of the UniSA Yunus Social Business Centre, Professor Carol Tilt, says unconscious bias is a massive issue for Australian boards.

 “Board members’ lack of awareness of their own bias is perhaps the single most damaging factor for effective leadership,” Prof Tilt says.

 “Australian companies need to be more proactive in offering training and incentives for more women to become actively involved in firm governance – and, to achieve this without regulatory pressures or token appointments simply to meet gender targets.

 “Unfortunately, when boards look for new members, they’re often reluctant to appoint female members or candidates who have different experiences to their own, defeating the capacity to recruit a diversity of views.

 “Such a blinkered approach to governance is highly risky, and while members may not know they’re operating in such a way, a lack of gender diversity almost guarantees this outcome.

 “As you can appreciate, influence is king on boards; if you don’t have it, you can’t make much of an impact”, says Professor Tilt.

 

Related news & editorials

  1. With the new year shifting into gear, Australian manufacturing is following suit, with increased expansion on the back of the construction industry.
    02.03.2021
    02.03.2021
    by      In , In
    With the new year shifting into gear, Australian manufacturing is following suit, with increased expansion on the back of the construction industry.
    The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index has increased by 3.5 points to 58.8 in February with the stronger pace of recovery... Read More
  2. The waste will be transported through a combination of conveyors, pallets (including 908 individual pallet locations), racking, and Swisslog’s S12 Vectura crane.
    02.03.2021
    02.03.2021
    by      In , In
    Nuclear waste is extremely dangerous when mishandled and can lead to untold human and environmental damages.
    That’s why Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), which produces nuclear medicine vital to the Australian health industry, turned to Swisslog’s automated storage... Read More
  3. When PMFV is applied through two stage technology models it can provide up to 50% increased efficiency over conventional compressor types.
    24.02.2021
    24.02.2021
    by      In , In
    The restrictions that COVID-19 placed on us from 2020,  is a wake up call on export and import reliance for many industries. 
    We can continue as we were and hope for a slow progress to recovery or learn some important lessons in adaptability to the current and future business environment with... Read More
  4. Scott Philbrook, ANZ Managing Director, RS Components
    24.02.2021
    24.02.2021
    by      In , In , In
    Covid-19 seriously disrupted supply chains throughout industry worldwide. Scott Philbrook, Managing Director RS Components Australia, explains today’s necessity for supply chain resilience and continuity.
    The Institute of Supply Management reported that in March, at the start of the pandemic, 75%... Read More
Products
Suppliers