Hire more women or risk missing out

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New Zealand companies are foregoing opportunities to earn hundreds of millions of dollars more a year because women are not fairly represented in business, said Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter.

According to the Diversity Dividend Report, having more women in leadership roles could boost the economy by as much as $881 million a year.

“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,” Genter said.

The perception that there is not enough available female talent is the greatest barrier in achieving gender balance in leadership.

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

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

“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.”

Genter said 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,” she said.

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