ABS reveals 4 in 5 managers are male

All that female mentoring and training but 4 in 5 managers are still male

We’re networking and training and getting mentored and sponsored.

We’re getting ourselves university qualified, with 25 to 29 year olds now far out-pacing men when it comes to having a bachelor degree or higher

The market for women’s leadership and development continues to grow, with online options now providing even more opportunities for women to work on their ‘merit’.

But for the most part women aren’t managing teams, at least not in the paid workforce when compared to men.

The latest ABS stats on the management capabilities of Australian businesses tell the rather depressing story. 

Eighty per cent of  businesses reported having a male principal manager, meaning just one in five are managed by women. In construction (the worst performer on gender) just one in 20 such positions are held by women.

In businesses with more than 200 people, just 12 per cent of principal manager positions are held by women. Women make up a quarter of principal managers in businesses with between five and 19 people.

Women couldn’t even crack the 50/50 mark in the female-dominated healthcare and social assistance industry, which recorded 44 per cent of businesses having a female principal manager. 

So what does a manager look like today in 2017? Probably still a bloke in his fifties, with 30 per cent of principal managers reportedly being 50 to 59. Or maybe in his 60s, with 19 per cent of managers being more than 60 years old.

Millennial managers are still difficult to spot, with these figures revealing just 5 per cent of principal managers are younger than 30 years old.

And while we got those university qualifications, it seems a degree is not necessarily a path to management, with just 34 per cent of businesses reporting their principal manager had completed a bachelor degree or higher.

We often look at the percentage of women on the boards of ASX 200 companies when offering a snapshot of progress on women in leadership, currently at 25.4 per cent.

But that figure really only tells a tiny part of the story. Progress for women in management more generally is difficult to track, but it’s something more organisations clearly need to better address.

And that may mean going deeper than another mentoring or training program for its female employees.



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