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2021: CEW and Bain & Company: Equitable Flexibility: Reshaping our Workforce

Sam Mostyn AO and Agathe Gross call for action amongst organisations to embrace equitable flexibility that is to be:

  • Practiced at scale rather than with an ad-hoc approach
  • Encouraged without judgement/preconditions
  • Adopted by women and men at all levels of the organisation
  • Without barriers to workplace progression or participation

The report also notes the double-edged sword of flexible work for gender equality, which would produce benefits of a better work-life balance, greater autonomy, and increased workplace productivity. Although flexible workers are also perceived to be less committed to their roles, which has been addressed in this report.

2020: KPMG, The Child Care Subsidy: Options for increasing support for caregivers that want to work

As we look to rebuild the Australian economy, affordability of childcare looms as one of the key factors in parents’ ability to secure their desired place in the workforce.

Parents of young children who want to contribute more to household income too often find themselves considering an insufficient financial reward when taking on extra work, once out-of-pocket childcare costs are deducted. This occurs across all family income levels. In particular, it is currently women’s workforce participation that suffers most when childcare is unaffordable.

2020: Flex for Success: Five practices that build a flexible workforce

CEW in partnership with Bain & Company and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Covid-19 has forced changes in the workplace that both illustrate the value of flexibility and create an opportunity for a permanent shift.

The five best practices for workplace flexibility are:

  1. Ensure flexibility is actually flexible, with limited barriers for gender equality progression
  2. Link flexibility to strategic goals and the consumer
  3. Model flexibility
  4. Encourage and enable team flexibility
  5. Support individuals to work flexibly

2019: CEW & Bain: Better Together: Increasing male engagement in gender equality efforts in Australia

CEW and Bain and Company’s seventh report on gender parity in Australia explores which men are taking action, and questions why some other men do not take action. The report clearly outlines how three in four (roughly 76%) Australian men support gender equality, yet most of them do not take any action to advance it with only 17% prioritising action.

Bain & Company and CEW together surveyed almost 2,000 Australians across more than 14 industries to understand the current levels of male engagement with gender equality initiatives, the most effective motivators to increase it and the barriers preventing uptake.

2018: Building the CFO Pipeline Report

According to CEW’s annual ASX 200 Executive Census, only a small number of women hold ASX200 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) positions (9% in 2017 and 12% in 2018). This is despite a large number of women entering the workforce with a finance background.

In 2018, CEW interviewed 10 ASX CFOs and four former CFOs, whose insights have demonstrated that whilst many organisations are actively creating pipelines for female finance talent there are still gaps. This has demonstrated that proactive leadership is needed to increase the women in senior financial roles in the near future.

The report provides pragmatic recommendations for both Boards and Senior Executives to assist them in building the female finance pipeline.

2018: CEW & MCC: Backlash & Buy In: Responding to the challenges in achieving gender equality

CEW and Male Champions of Change (MCC) report in 2018 responds to the challenges in achieving gender equality provides valuable insights. In a challenging period for organisations and leadership in Australia, a focus on advancing gender equality remains key the future economic prosperity and social cohesion of Australia. Despite advancements, gender equality will only be achieved if there is better engagement of stakeholders, on both the need and the pathway to gender equity.

This report acknowledges that backlash and resistance are a natural part of change which are necessary to understand to improve gender equality. It identifies underlying drivers of resistance and explains what leaders can do to address resistance and advance gender equality


New data from Workplace Gender Equality Agency released today shows that progress on closing the workplace gender pay gap has stalled. Women are on average earning $26,600 less than men. The WGEA 2021-22 Employer Census also found: ❌ Just 22% of CEOs are women. ❌ Men are more likely to hold managerial positions, even in...
The Chief Executive Women Leadership Summit, hosted on Tuesday, 6 September 2022, brought leaders together for an uncensored conversation about what can be done to break through the malaise and achieve gender equality for the benefit of all in Australia. In a day of inspiring discussion and keynote speeches, attendees were left empowered to drive...
Chief Executive Women welcomes the Albanese Government’s Federal Budget and Women’s Budget Statement, which recognise that gender equality is at the heart of Australia’s future prosperity and resilience. CEW supports investments in measures to address cost of living pressures and enable women’s workforce participation, economic contribution, health and safety. READ MORE
Leveraging women’s participation and leadership is one of the most effective actions for business and government to boost the Australian economy. As we build for recovery, while facing critical labour and skills shortages, we need to invest in our people and place care at the centre of our economy. We cannot afford to delay this...
Chief Executive Women welcomes the Albanese Labor Government’s announcement to boost Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave (PPL) from 18 weeks to 26 weeks. CEW has long advocated for a package of reforms, of which PPL is a critical lever, in unlocking women’s workforce participation and boosting the economy. The increase to 26 weeks paid parental leave,...
The progress on women reaching the most senior leadership roles in corporate Australia is going backwards, according to the 2022 Chief Executive Women (CEW) Senior Executive Census, and at this rate it will take 100 years for women to make up at least 40% of all CEO positions on the ASX200. Now in its sixth...
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...
Having the desire to create more gender diversity in senior leadership ranks within your company is one thing, but putting practical measures in place to achieve this is something completely different. Often, the hardest part is knowing where to start. After speaking to 22 Australian companies who are leading the way when it comes to...
21 July 2022, 12AM: The three people tasked with leading scientific efforts for defence in the UK, US and Australia will meet in Sydney today, to discuss how to improve women’s representation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) leadership roles: Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro AC, US Under Secretary of Defense for...
In the wake of Enough is Enough, the final report of Western Australia’s parliamentary inquiry into sexual harassment of women in the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining industry, Chief Executive Women (CEW) is urging all businesses and organisations across all sectors to access free resources it has developed to help stamp out harassment once and for...