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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


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...