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Bosses must employ a woman, CEOs say

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The heads of some of Australia’s biggest organisations are pushing for equality in leadership positions by devising a new plan that mandates having a female as part of the management team.

Twenty-one leading male CEOs in Australia say they have committed to ensuring their managers will add at least one female to their teams, as jobs become available, reported.

The move is thought to affect around 550,000 Australian workers.

While the leaders say they are concerned about breaking through the “boys’ club” mentality of the top table, others, such as IBM Australia managing director Andrew Stevens, are going further by offering bonuses for gender targets which have been met.

“The plus-one pledge, where you add a woman to your team at every level of your organisation, is a tangible way of (increasing female representation),” Stevens told

“My hope is that we will inspire male and females to lock on to this issue and make change in their enterprise in both the public and private sector.”

Elizabeth Broderick, programme architect and Sex Discrimination Commissioner, said these CEOs would also refuse to be part of any all-male speaking panel.

The plan is based on a trial from 2011 at Citi’s Australian offices, where at least one woman had to be promoted into an approved available role.

What are your views? Are programmes such as this the right way to get women’s voices heard in the boardroom and bridge the gender gap?

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