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CEW engages directly with government and business to advocate for evidence-based policies which support women leaders, for the benefit of everyone in Australia. We contribute to policy formulation and partner with employers to attract, promote and retain talented women leaders. Our membership of over 1000 prominent women leaders are sought after for insights on how to improve the representation of women in all facets of leadership in Australia.


CEW makes informed contributions to the national debate on gender balance. One of CEW’s most important achievements has been to cut through the myths surrounding women in leadership with hard data.

CEW Advocacy and Research:

The CEW Senior Executive Census is collected annually in partnership with Bain & Company, from data available on company websites and in annual reports.

Data on the executive leadership teams for the companies in the CEW Senior Executive Census was collected in July 2022 from company websites, including Annual Reports and media releases.

This methodology has been in place since the CEW Senior Executive Census began in 2017.


CEW, Bain & Company: Take It from the Top: Accelerating Women’s Representation in Executive Leadership is a deep dive into how Australia’s leading organisations foster gender balance on their executive teams, released in July 2022. Organisations that commit to genderbalance targets are almost 3 times more likely to achieve gender-balanced leadership teams. Nearly 60% of ASX300 companies have committed to gender-balance targets. Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women (CEW) interviewed 22 Australian companies that are outperforming the ASX300 average for their gender-balanced leadership teams.

5 accelerators that increase women’s representation in executive leadership are:

1. Committed and accountable Executives
2. Commitments must translate into actions
3. Targeted talent management unlocks equal opportunities.
4. Succession plans must be deliberate and long term.
5. Recruiting must be equitable.


CEW and Impacts Economics and Policy’s report released in 2022 illustrates how we can address the Australian economy’s current and future skills needs and gaps. The gaps can be closed between the number of men and women employed, and also the number of working hours they undertake. Closing the chronic wage gap between men and women, represents a significant opportunity for the Australian economy by contributing an additional 1 million full time workers with post school qualifications.


CEW delivers a leading research, policy and advocacy agenda which is evidence-based, grounded in member engagement, and is aligned with our vision for women and men to have equal economic and social choices and responsibilities. CEW’s four policy pillars are:

1. Advancing women’s leadership
2. Enabling women’s workforce participation,
3. Strengthening women’s economic security including into retirement
4. Workplace flexibility for women and men.

These four critical issues are the foundation of our policy
strategy which aims to achieve gender equality and maximise Australia’s talent pool in pursuit of a thriving economy.

In 2021, Australia was shocked and disappointed by stories of sexual harassment in workplaces around the country.

Respect is Everyone’s Business is a digital hub with tools and resources to help leaders take action at decision-making tables and in our workplaces.

While many organisations have made positive progress in responding to and preventing sexual harassment, it was clear that it remains a widespread and persistent issue.

Respect is Everyone’s Business equips leaders with the facts, scripts and resources they need to start a conversation and ensure this issue remains firmly on the agenda.


CEW advocates for change in key priority areas to achieve our vision of a society where women and men have equal economic and social choice and responsibilities. We are presenting the case for change by reviewing the current status of women in Australia in leadership, economic security, workforce participation and workplace flexibility. CEW is working to remove the barriers to women’s progression and ensure equal opportunity for prosperity.


This report is written by Chief Executive Women (CEW) in conjunction with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), to highlight key actions to advance talented women in leadership roles in STEM sectors, accordingly to women who are leading the way. Although there are systemic barriers for women’s progression to leadership, reinforced as women in STEM are repeatedly saying “all men get the cool jobs” yet the women are missing out.

Ultimately, CEW reiterates how women must play a powerful role in developing STEM industries in the Australian economy.



Media release: CEW welcomes the focus on the care economy and women’s workforce participation in this year’s Federal Budget Chief Executive Women (CEW) welcomes Federal Budget measures aimed at unlocking women’s workforce participation to address Australia’s economic challenges by removing barriers for women and families.  Today’s Federal Government budget has confirmed funding for several of CEW’s...
Media release | Monday, 6 May 2024 More than 200 women leaders including from business, unions, philanthropy, academia and the community sector have written to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urging him to provide economic security for women leaving violence by raising the rate of Jobseeker and Youth Allowance. Djirra CEO Antoinette Braybrook AM said: “Every...
Media release: Former CEW president Sam Mostyn to become Australia’s next governor-general Chief Executive Women (CEW) congratulates former CEW president Sam Mostyn AO on the announcement she will become Australia’s next governor-general. CEW president Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz says Sam is a visionary leader who transformed CEW’s advocacy agenda at a critical time for Australian women. “As...
Media release: CEW Welcomes ‘Working For Women’, A National Strategy To Achieve Gender Equality Chief Executive Women (CEW) has welcomed the National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality.  Released today by the federal Minister for Women, Katy Gallagher, the strategy outlines priority areas for improvements in women’s affairs, including a commitment to paying superannuation on Commonwealth Paid...
Media release: CEW celebrates new era of gendered data transparency, calls on all employers to set gender equality targets Chief Executive Women (CEW) has welcomed the publication of gender pay gaps for every individual Australian employer with 100 or more employees, calling for all Australian businesses to set gender equality targets to increase women’s representation...
CEW calls on the Federal Government to unlock the economy by addressing women’s workforce participation CEW is calling on the Federal Government to address the country’s economic challenges with a suite of policy settings that will help unlock women’s workforce participation for the good of all. In its 2024-25 Pre Budget Submission, which has been...
CEW welcomes the findings of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) Scorecard, which has found that the average total remuneration gender pay gap has dropped to 21.7 per cent in 2023 from 22.8 per cent in 2022.  It is the second biggest single year drop since WGEA started collecting employer data in 2014, however, on...
CEW welcomes and supports the Productivity Commission’s Report into Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and takes this opportunity to welcome the new Productivity Commission Chair and CEW member Danielle Wood to this important role. CEW supports the key recommendations of the report, namely: Building towards universal, free or low-cost access for all children to...
Today we released our seventh annual Chief Executive Women Senior Executive Census which tracks the annual progress of women’s representation in the senior leadership teams of Australia’s top companies. Latest data shows that women remain undeniably underrepresented in leadership teams across Australia’s top businesses and gender parity at the top is still at least half...
CEW welcomes significant Federal Budget to enable women’s economic participation and support the most vulnerable women across the economy Chief Executive Women (CEW) welcomes the Federal Budget and Women’s Budget Statement as an impactful Budget for women, with crucial measures to enable women’s participation in the economy, while supporting vulnerable women who are most impacted...