New LinkedIn data, published in the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, reveals that the growth rate of women in entrepreneurship outweighs the growth rate of their male counterparts between 2016 to 2021 (1.95 per cent vs 1.45 per cent respectively), particularly where women are underrepresented in leadership roles.
The data reveals that Australia has some of the lowest representation of women in leadership (32 per cent) compared to women across other countries studied in the APAC region. Australia is ranked second after India, surpassed by New Zealand, Singapore and the Philippines. It also shows men are 18 per cent more likely to be promoted into leadership positions than women.
The proportion of women in leadership roles also decreases with seniority, with only 23 per cent of Australian women at VP level and 29 per cent at CXO level. The first drop is seen from senior contributor to manager roles and then continues to decline into director and above.
While there are more female leaders in industries where women are better represented in the workforce, their representation in leadership roles within these industries are not necessarily higher than men. For example, the Health & Fitness industry has 68 per cent of women in overall female workforce representation but only 48 per cent make up leadership roles. The Healthcare sector has 64 per cent women with only 44 per cent in leadership.
These insights may explain why the rate of women pursuing entrepreneurship opportunities in Australia over the past few years has increased, with women re-evaluating career options.
The growth rate of female entrepreneurship was at its highest during the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
Prue Cox, director enterprise SEA, KR & ANZ, marketing solutions at LinkedIn said: “This LinkedIn data demonstrates we still have a long way to go in supporting women in their professional endeavours and ensuring we have equitable opportunities for all in the workplace.
“Our data shows that if women do not get this in traditional roles and organisations, they will create it for themselves through entrepreneurship. We saw this especially in the years of the pandemic (2020 and 2021), for various reasons. Women sought out entrepreneurship out of necessity or a need for income, greater flexibility, or were following their passions.
“Aside from supporting this burgeoning community, we also need to ensure women in the wider workforce have equal access to all opportunities. We should look at solutions like internal mobility, fair hiring practices with a focus on skills and flexibility. This will ensure that women are not only equal contributors at all levels in an organisation, but they are given the opportunity to juggle their own time around professional and personal pursuits.”
To support female entrepreneurs, and women in the workforce, LinkedIn is offering these courses for free until 22 August 2022:
- Gender in Negotiation
- Getting to Yes: Advice for Female Founders on How to Get Funded
- Leadership Strategies for Women
- Success Strategies for Women in the Workplace
In addition, follow these LinkedIn Top Voices in Australia, who post insightful content and shaping conversations around gender equity, both in and outside of the workplace.