Bain & Company, & Chief Executive Women
Melbourne: Bain & Company
Magazine Article
Area of focus: 

Building on the results of Bain & Company's 2011 report What Stops Women Reaching the Top?, this study surveys members of Australia's business community to establish the organisational characteristics and individual leadership behaviours which contribute to environments where diversity is valued and women feel able to reach their full potential. The measure used here, as in other Bain & Company research, is a Net Promoter Score which evaluates the degree to which employees would recommend their organisation to their peers.

The survey found that the middle years of women's careers are a low point in their positive comments about their employers, as they encounter the simultaneous obstacles of career break and issues with their style of leadership and fit within the organisation. Positive and negative cycles are described; in the former, a visible presence of women at the top builds commitment and success from women further down.

Results are presented for women's evaluations of their own manager's leadership styles, illustrating what styles are associated with higher levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The paper provides a case study of how Woolworth's Australia rapidly improved its gender diversity in senior management, and action points for organisations to build higher levels of advocacy amongst female staff.