What we now see is ‘gender asbestos’ – bias built into the wall of business structures.
Despite the number of women on boards in Australia more than doubling since 2010, one in two women who have had children report feeling discrimination, either during pregnancy, on maternity leave, or in the time just after having children.
Commonwealth Bank executive general manager of organisational development Rhonda Brighton-Hall, thinks it’s astonishing the pay gap between genders has stayed inert at around 17.5 per cent.
“Every year you look at your pay and if there is a gap between people doing the same job it needs to be rectified and it needs to be absolute,” says Brighton-Hall.
“I think that the fact that as a society we put up with it is quite extraordinary − sooner or later we have to stare that one in the eye and not be okay with it.”
The other women on the panel at Telstra’s Women in Business event are Telstra’s group managing director of strategic finance Cynthia Whelan, Shoes of Prey cofounder Jodie Fox and Opera House chief executive officer Louise Herron.
For more fascinating stats about women in business over the past 20 years, check out our infographic below: