Articles and Interviews

Cook Islands | 24 September 2021

More opportunities for Pacific women in business than politics

Radio Interview -- Listen Here

It's been a battle to get more women into politics in the Pacific but new evidence suggests they are faring better when it comes to leadership roles in the business sector.

A report by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative found the region compares favourably with the global average in several measures of business leadership.

Women hold 21 per cent of board seats and 11 per cent of board chairs in the Pacific, well above the global averages of 16.9 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively.

Women also hold 13 per cent of CEO positions in the Pacific, but only 4.4 per cent globally.

"It shows you can change some of these ideas about women being leaders ... and it seems the business sector is leading the charge on this in the Pacific," said the report's author Sarah Boxall.

The figures contrast with those for women's political representation in the Pacific, with women holding just six per cent of seats, the lowest level in the world according to UN Women.

"Ultimately businesses need to be profitable so they're motivated to embrace different ideas to help them achieve this," Ms Boxall said.

"Many industry leaders have understood that women bring considerable expertise and insight into leadership and this helps them be more innovative and better understand their customers."

Duration: 7min 53sec
Broadcast: Fri 24 Sep 2021, 6:00am