Why gender is top of the agenda
By Stephen Lacey
Companies outside the top 100 are failing to act on gender diversity, a study has shown. The survey by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors found that the number of women on the top-100 boards was at its highest level ever, while in the top 101-200 ASX companies, women directors made up less than 9 per cent of all directors. Indeed, more than 50 per cent of the ASX 101-200 companies had no women on their boards at all.
However, the results of the research have been disputed by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, which argues the figures are based on last year's data. It claims women directors make up 17.7 per cent of ASX 100 board seats, and 14.6 per cent of board seats in the ASX 200.
Called to account
Accounting jobs are on the rise, according to the Ambition Jobs Index released this week. The national seasonally adjusted figures revealed the fifth successive monthly rise since the April 2012 correction, with September 3.9 per cent up on the previous month.
However, it's not all good news, with accountancy job numbers still below the March 2012 figure and those of a year ago (down almost 9 per cent on September 2011).
The managing director of Ambition, Paul Lyons, says "the fragility in the accounting recruitment market accurately reflects the market uncertainty" for employers and job seekers.
China's falling demand for resources continues to affect Australia's mining industry and employment levels. Rio Tinto this week confirmed it would reduce spending on new projects and cut costs, after achieving $US500 million in annualised savings, a move that has already cost hundreds of Australian jobs. And it's not over yet, with the mining giant's chief executive, Tom Albanese, warning there are still savings to be made that will "involve reductions in employment levels".
BHP Billiton is also responding to the slowing Chinese economy, warning that job cuts are likely within its iron-ore division, where redundancy and redeployment talks are already under way.
The company declines to say how many jobs are under threat, but some analysts put the figure about 200.
Hip to Flip
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Published: 13 October 2012
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