New Zealand Law Society - No gender parity policy in 60% of surveyed NZ businesses

No gender parity policy in 60% of surveyed NZ businesses

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A September 2017 survey of 500 business leaders found that 60% of their businesses did not have a gender parity policy or strategy in place, the Westpac Diversity Dividend Report says.

Of those businesses who had a policy, only 26% reported on outcomes.

Analysis in the report was carried out by Deloitte Access Economics, with the objective of measuring the benefits of diversity, with a particular focus on gender diversity in management positions in the New Zealand economy.

The survey results indicated that women make up 29% of management positions, but occupy 46% of non-management positions.

"We estimate that if New Zealand firms were to achieve gender parity in leadership, the resulting participation benefits would lead to the economy being around $881 million larger, equivalent to 0.33% of gross domestic product," the report says.

The research also found a direct financial benefit from reaching gender parity in leadership, with each 1% increase in female managers increasing return on assets by 0.07%.

"For New Zealand businesses, reaching parity in leadership could mean a 1.5 percentage point increase in return on assets. The benefits to business are not just financial ... companies with more women in leadership are more innovative, have greater employee loyalty and more satisfied customers."

At 4 December 2017, 13,006 lawyers were based in New Zealand. Of these, 6484 were women and 6522 were men – meaning there were 38 more male lawyers. There were 7,692 lawyers working in law firms with more than one lawyer. Of these, 3,834 (49.8%) were women. Of the 2,850 lawyers who were partners or directors of firms with more than one lawyer, 870 (30.5%) were women.

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