Women are under-represented in leadership
Women continue to miss out on the highest levels of leadership and decision making. This includes roles in government, business and the community. Barrier's to women's leadership include unconscious bias, poor recruitment practices and poor workplace cultures.
Women also face cultural and institutional obstacles in male-dominated industries. They are under-represented in many industries, including science, technology, engineering, medicine, construction and finance.
Ideas about leadership start early
When boys and girls don’t see women in positions of power, they start to think only men can be leaders. Girls are then less likely to pursue leadership roles.
The influence of media and popular culture
Television, film and popular culture shape our ideas about gender. They tell us how women and men are supposed to look, act and treat others. Women are often shown as young, thin and submissive. Men are often shown as muscular, powerful and unemotional. Beauty, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation are portrayed in stereotypes. Women and girls are more likely to be shown in sexually explicit scenes or as subjects of violence.
These stereotypes are harmful. They desensitise us to violence against women. They portray women as objects without power or the ability to lead and make decisions.
Equal representation of women in leadership is important
When we empower women as leaders and decision-makers, the community and economy benefit. From the workplace to popular culture, having more women in positions of power promotes gender equality.
Reviewed 09 April 2019