The Courier-Mail

Aussie industry’s top men drive for more women executives

- KARLIS SALNA

SOME of Australia’s top business leaders have called on their peers to maintain momentum in redressing the workplace gender imbalance, particular­ly in leadership areas.

Chief executives from some of Australia’s largest companies came together yesterday at the Male Champions of Change forum to assess progress in the five years since the initiative was launched but also to call for more to be done.

The forum includes chief executive officers, Australian government department heads and non-executive directors from a range of major businesses and government.

Commonweal­th Bank CEO Ian Narev said that while the event was an opportunit­y to take stock of what’s been achieved, more importantl­y it was about getting a big audience “focused on what still needs to be done”.

“The numbers of women in leadership aren’t yet where they need to be and this is by no means a time to say the job’s done,” Mr Narev said.

Qantas has three women in senior leadership team positions, and three on its board.

“Qantas is very focused on diversity generally but in particular, female diversity within the workforce,” the airline’s chief Alan Joyce said.

“It’s good for businesses, it’s good for us in terms of including people in decision making, making better decisions, promoting and getting women into the workforce to take advantage of their expertise.”

The former Chief of Army, retired Lieutenant-General David Morrison, said the armed forces and corporate Australia could learn from each other.

“There is inequality, gender imbalance, wasting of talent and potential across all of our sectors in Australia and indeed globally,” Mr Morrison said.

“The Male Champions of Change are doing their bit to try and level that playing field but more needs to be done.”

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