Glass ceiling statistics

Back as part of the International Women’s Day festivities, Tony Abbott, speaking at an event in Canberra on Tuesday to mark the upcoming International Women’s Day, declared that while we still have some work to do Australia is a nation which has just about “smashed every glass ceiling”.

“If you look at our country and the deal that it gives to women; it is obviously pretty good,” he said. “It wasn’t so long ago as a Sydneysider that there was a female lord mayor, a female premier, a female prime minister, a female head of state in our governor general, a female monarch, obviously, and indeed the richest person in our country was female.”

Economist Glass ceiling indexSo what do the statistics say? Handily as part of the same festivities, the Economist put together a glass ceiling index, picking up some key statistics and ranking countries on that basis. The economist gives Australia a score of 56.6 out of a possible 100, slightly better than the OECD average of 53.8, but nowhere near the top country, Norway, at 78.7 (here is one example of why). Interestingly, NZ is way better than us, with a score of 69.4.

You can play around with the different factors, to see if you can improve your country’s ranking. The highest I can get Australia is 4th – if the only thing that matters is our female share of senior managers, where Australia has 36.7% (not women on Boards, or in parliament, where we rank much worse).

So, the deal women get in Australia is pretty good, but we come 16th out of the 27 OECD countries the Economist measured – I think the glass ceiling is cracked, not smashed.

  1 comment for “Glass ceiling statistics

  1. Sushil Ramrakha
    March 17, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Putting aside the “obviously” that Abbott tends to put before everything arguable he says … it is indeed arguable that the “deal” Australia gives to women is “pretty good”.

    At his simplest, Abbott is taking one example and making this to be the rule. He says, “female lord mayor, a female premier, a female prime minister, a female head of state in our governor general, a female monarch, obviously, and indeed the richest person in our country was female”. He should have added that he is now going about the task of reversing this “one example” trend with only one female member of cabinet and “obviously” personally eliminating the female GG and female PM.

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