Women’s Leadership Matters

The “Leadership Matters, benchmarking women in business leadership in the Pacific”, report was launched yesterday in a breakfast hosted by the Business Coalition For Women and the PNG Institute of Directors.

At the event, a panel of discussion was held under the theme, ‘Untapped potential’ and ‘Women in business leadership’ equality and economic growth in PNG to complement the launch of the report.

The report conducted by the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) cites that women are underrepresented in business leadership globally.

The lack of women in leadership roles negatively impacts company performance productivity and profitability, which in turn constrains private sector development and economic growth. 

New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that have made a mark in their gender equality in leadership both in public and private sector.

New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner to PNG, Dr. Nathan Ross, was given the honour to open the brief event.

“This report provides crucial insights into women representation in business leadership and compares the findings from Papua New Guinea to global data and the data from countries throughout our blue Pacific region.

“It aims to provide evidence and guidance to businesses, for civil society, development partners and governments to develop and implement policies and practices that increase women’s leadership in business and as a flow-on benefit women’s leadership in all aspects of society,” Dr Ross said.

He said, “Although we all know it, it bears repeating that internationally women are underrepresented in leadership roles including in the private sector.”

Rosandra Kora representing PSDI highlighted key facts of the report in a power point presentation.

“Women are under represented on boards in Agriculture and Fisheries, Media and Communications, Resources, Transport and Infrastructure and Utility Sectors,” she said.

Members of the Panel of discussion were asked by the moderator, Evonne Kennedy, BCFW Executive Director to lead the discussions on different aspects of women in business leadership in PNG in comparison to the rest of the Pacific and the globe.

Former Secretary General for Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor was a member of the panel, expressed thoughts on state-owned-enterprises not having women on their boards.

“We have no women in parliament so what did we honestly expect that we were going to get a representation in the State Own Enterprise? It’s the extension of hausman. I am interested in the question of why women are flourishing in the private sector? Dame Taylor asked.

Kennedy emphasized that PNG has one of the lowest rates of gender equality in the world.

“Not only is this bad for women and girls, it is also bad for business. This report is an excellent resource that informs us where we need to invest to create a fertile ground for the growth, performance and leadership excellence of women,” she added.

Frieda Kana