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I am woman, hear me yawn

Christina @

I remember this was a phrase repeated several times at the 2005, Looking Back, Moving Forward women's conference in Wellington, 2005.

Why yawn?

Well, it's a play on the Helen Reddy anthem I am woman, hear me roar. More women now work, but childcare is still their major responsibility.

According to research by Lean In, an American women's leadership group, the COVID pandemic "laid waste to swaths of the female workforce at a time when there were multiple encouraging signs for women at the highest levels of corporate America".

And the reason?

Parenting pressures and trying to work from home led to stress, burnout and exhaustion.

Nearly two-thirds of senior-level mothers reported being unable to perform optimally, or had revised their career goals. And if they're not at work and their male counterparts are, who's likely to be promoted? You guessed it - the more visible men.

Is this a trend in Aotearoa?

Not sure.

And by the way, that 2005 conference was partly sponsored by Telecom. Why? Because Theresa Gatting was its CE.

A quick look at the stats for women in senior management. For several years now, I've followed the Grant Thornton reports on women in business. Here's the latest:

Overall numbers of women in senior management, 2020, were the same as for 2019: 29% worldwide - 1% short of what Grant Thornton reckon is the tipping point. The reasons for this are complex. Here's one.

  • McKinsey research found the biggest obstacle for women was getting on the first rung. For every 100 men promoted to be managers, 72 women were as well. The pipeline is still a problem.

So on International Women's Day 2021 we still have a long way to go.


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