Westpac survey results: Women of Influence 2013

Posted 1 July 2013

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Westpac and Fairfax Media recently completed a survey of 1,031 Westpac customers (respondents were 57% women and 43% male).  

We wanted to find out more about the influence of women in today's society. 

View the full results here (PDF)

Key findings

  • Both men and women agree that in the home, women have equal influence to men on big purchase decisions and slightly more influence in managing day to day finances.
  • In society, business and politics there’s a chasm dividing men’s and women’s views. A majority of women feel they have too little influence in business and politics. A majority of men think women’s level of influence is the right amount.
  • Likewise a majority of women think New Zealand is a better country for having women of influence and we need more women leaders. Whereas a majority of men don’t see this and men are divided on the need for more women leaders.
  • Generational, educational and personal experience gaps, are all evident in the results. Younger people, more educated people and those who know a woman of influence are all more likely to think we need more woman leaders. Also women at the peak-age for careers, 35 – 54 years, are more likely to want more women leaders.
  • Looking at opportunities for women, a majority believe they don’t have the same opportunities as men to be leaders, again men just don’t see this. Also 36% of women have personally experienced a gender-based pay gap at work. 
  • Fewer young women, 27%, have experienced a gender-based pay gap. However 52% of women aged 35 – 54 years in New Zealand don’t think they have the same opportunities to be leaders as men.
  • Ironically, while at a disparity with women’s opinions on these issues, a majority of men see women leaders as equal or better in some ways to their male counterparts, bringing better things like a more empathetic, less egotistical approach.
  • The most influential man in the country today is seen as John Key. Fewer women of such prominence are evident and views are dated. There are diverse responses on who the most influential women is today, Helen Clark topped the list.