Conrad Liveris

About Conrad Liveris

Conrad Liveris is a community advocate and operations analyst working in policy and business development with a focus on gender equality and intergenerational issues.

Quotas for leadership: Cure-all to smash glass ceiling?

Conrad Liveris urges Australian politicians to follow Germany’s example as it steps up to the plate and announces quotas for leadership when it comes to under-representation of women in positions of power.


Reflecting upon International Women’s Day I found myself inspired for action. This was the first IWD I felt that the community at large was considering the questions that plague me.

The biggest one being: where are the women in leadership?

As always, reality is grim. I recently undertook some research on the ASX200. Of all the CEO and Chair positions, 26 are held by people with the name Peter, 23 with the name Michael and 23 are women. Of these 200 companies 179 were made up of men in both positions.

With a growing gender pay gap to 18.8 percent, what is going on? Is all the rhetoric mounting to nothing?

Germany has taken a step I hope Australia better considers: quotas for leadership. This is a pretty divisive issue amongst senior women.The reality is that we are moving at a glacial pace and there are plenty of qualified women for leadership which certainly builds a case for quotas for leadership.

I don’t buy the merit argument at all. Merit looks like it is white and male, but I know that talent is so much more diverse than that.We can’t just sit on our hands and think this problem will miraculously solve itself.

Joe Hockey a few years ago gave a passionate speech about the need for quotas to truly bring women into business.

Well, it is time to step up to the plate and introduce quotas for leadership.

The reality is that qualified and capable Australian women are not reaching the heights they ought to.

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