Step up for New Zealand women

New Zealand businesses are missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars each year because women are not being fairly represented around the business table, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter.

The Diversity Dividend Report released today shows that getting more women into leadership roles could boost the economy by $881 million each year. The top barrier cited was the perception of lack of availability of female talent to achieve gender balance in leadership.

“Having women in leadership roles benefits everyone, but we need to once and for all ditch this notion that women aren’t talented enough to be there,” Ms Genter said.

“There are talented women who are well prepared for stepping up into management roles but they need to be promoted, and their skills recognised.

“Every day I meet exceptional women who are delivering value to businesses, and their community.

“People hiring and promoting need to question their ‘unconscious bias’ as to why they are not seeing talented women who can do the job.

“Businesses that are still male dominated are missing out on significant business opportunities, as well as denying women a fair shot.

“For the 42 per cent of businesses that have observed no change in women in management roles in the last two years, now is your opportunity to get with the programme.

“The Ministry of Women maintains a database of hundreds of women through their Nominations Service who are available for governance roles. Anyone can access this service, and I encourage any employer to get in touch to ensure that they have the best candidates,”  Ms Genter said.