Westpac Survey - Women of Influence 2013

Kiwi women say not enough leadership opportunities

Most Kiwi women believe they don’t have the same opportunities as men to be leaders, according to a Westpac survey for the Women of Influence Awards.

The survey of 1000 New Zealand men and women, showed women feel they do not have sufficient influence in business, politics, society and in leadership opportunities.

Simon Power, Westpac Managing Director of Private Wealth and Insurance and a Women of Influence awards judge says the survey has revealed a range of differing attitudes over how much influence women would seem to have in New Zealand.

“The survey provides a good benchmark on the acknowledgement women receive in society. As attitudes change an age gap in the acceptance of women is emerging. Men under 35 are significantly more accepting of gender equality in terms of influence,” says Mr Power.

The survey showed the majority of women (81%) thought New Zealand did not have enough women leaders, while men were divided (49% said there were not enough opportunities for women and 46% said the balance was about right).

More than half the women (56%) who responded to the survey thought they were not given the same opportunities as men to be leaders and nearly the same number of men (46%) agreed with them.

However, 51% of men under 35 said New Zealand needed more women leaders. Women were seen to be more empathetic, compassionate and better listeners as leaders.

In business, nearly 80% of women feel they are under-represented in terms of influence, while the majority of men (52.7%) think women have enough influence.

In politics 61% of women feel women don’t have enough influence and more than half (55%) of all men think women’s political influence is about right. While in society men and women have more similar attitudes with 54% of women and 66% of men saying women have just the right amount of influence.

Women also felt under-represented in pay and leadership opportunities. Nearly 36% of women surveyed said they had experienced a gender pay gap while 85% of men had not. With regard to leadership, 58% of women feel they do not get the same opportunities as men.

The survey co-incides with Westpac and Fairfax Media’s launch of the Women of Influence Awards, which aims to recognise women who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and used their influence to make a positive impact on New Zealand society.

“Women make an invaluable contribution to New Zealand’s success and while attitudes are changing there is still plenty of work to be done. The Women of Influence Awards will help raise awareness of women’s contribution to our country and it is our hope they will highlight role models for future generations,” says Mr Power.

The Women of Influence Awards are an annual programme that will identify the 60 most inspiring women of New Zealand across a broad range of categories acknowledging the invaluable contribution women make to the country.

The awards acknowledge outstanding women in six categories: management & business, local & regional, entrepreneur, community service & social enterprise, innovation & science and emerging leader.

The emerging leader category will be open for public voting via Stuff Nation on stuff.co.nz. Nominations and entries close on 30 August. Nominations will be judged by a panel of respected and high-achieving New Zealanders including Sir Ray Avery, Dame Roseanne Meo and Simon Power, Westpac’s Managing Director of Private Wealth and Insurance. Finalists will be confirmed in September and the winners announced at an awards dinner in October.

Nomination forms are available on a dedicated Women of Influence section on www.stuff.co.nz and at www.westpac.co.nz along with news and thought provoking blogs by prominent New Zealanders on issues related to women and influence.

To download an application form or for further information, including details of the judging panel, please visit www.westpac.co.nz/womenofinfluence.

Key stats from the survey

Who has the most influence on big purchase decisions in your household?

  •  F52.3% - decisions are made jointly M51.6%
  • F42.5% - decisions are made by themselves M43.5%

Is New Zealand better or worse with women in influential positions

  • F53% better M37%
  • F41% neither better or worse M54%
  • F6% worse M8%

Should we have more women leaders in New Zealand

  • M50.9% U35 say yes - F85% between 35 and 54, also say yes we need more women leaders.
  • M55% university educated say yes.

How do women leaders compare to men? *(Men’s responses)

  • 32% say better (more empathetic/compassionate /considerate, more holistic, less egotistical, better listeners, more inclusive)
  • 19% say worse (cold/ruthless/bullying, too emotional, trying too hard and too weak).

Are women given the same opportunities as men to be leaders in NZ?

  • F56% say they don’t have the same opportunities M46% say they do

What it takes to be influential

  • M23.8% - decisiveness F21.9%
  • M24.1% - integrity F18%

What key attributes are needed by women of influence?

  • M25.5% prefer empathy from women than decisiveness M13.4%.
  • F23% say women leaders need more integrity, F21.8% more knowledge and F 15.1% more empathy.