Early impact: Katalis supports women in leadership in traded industries
In its first 12 months, Katalis proposed and supported the first partnership of female leaders in the Australian and Indonesian business communities. Working with DFAT’s Investing in Women and bringing together Australia’s Chief Executive Women (CEW) and the Indonesian Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (IBCWE), Katalis is supporting a new network of the leading voices for women in the region.
The partnership builds on their common goal of supporting female business leaders, including through industries engaged in bilateral trade and investment. While gender and trade are the subject of some academic research, the partnership seeks to tackle the under-representation of women in business head on, especially business operating in the bilateral relationship.
Women’s participation in the labour force in Indonesia is persistently lower than men’s with 53% of Indonesian women in the labour force in 2020, compared to 82% of men. IBCWE exists to help address this imbalance. Similarly, Australia’s most traded industries, including agriculture and mining, have lower representation of women in leadership positions. As Australia and Indonesia look to expand and diversify their trade and investment relationship, including in digital services, health, skills and training, amongst many other areas, the opportunities for women are significant. An early outcome of the emerging partnership is original research on women’s leadership in Indonesia’s business community being led by IBCWE, with the support of CEW and based on the Australian Senior Executive Census 2021. The Census analysed the representation of women in the ASX300 executive leadership teams and tracks the progress of women through to the senior ranks in corporate Australia by looking at the proportion of women in pipeline roles to fill senior executive positions.
With advisory support from CEW, IBCWE are replicating the methodology of the Senior Executive Census to capture women’s representation in the Indonesian business community for the first time. IBCWE is conducting the research with the Indonesian Stock Exchanges IDX200, with the potential to make gender representation a regular feature of IDX’s governance and reporting framework. The research will advance the transparency and reporting of female leadership in Indonesian business and provide a baseline from which Indonesia can continue to improve women’s leadership and demonstrate its commitment to more inclusive economic growth.
“Rising to the Top: Women Leadership in Executive Position in IDX200” was launched in Jakarta on Kartini Day, 21 April 2022, with a panel including the Indonesian Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia and the Managing Director for Southeast Asia and Pacific Region of Nasdaq, presenting to a virtual audience of over 1,000 people from across the G20.
IDX is now looking to make the reporting of women’s representation in leadership an annual report, which will be a major step forward for reporting of women’s representation in Indonesia’s business community.
The research will be presented at the G20’s Empower group, chaired by Indonesia in 2022. There is potential for other G20 countries to also take up the report methodology and replicate in other G20 nations, further extending the impact of CEW’s original work and improving gender reporting in the region. While further research is yet to commence, CEW is very pleased to see its work being replicated and shared, with the potential to improve awareness and transparency around the under-representation of women in business leadership roles.
Susan Metcalf, CEO, Chief Executive Women:
“CEW’s annual ASX300 Senior Executive Census of the ASX300 has shown that despite the clear business case for gender parity, women are still significantly underrepresented in senior executive teams across the nation’s top public companies, as well as being underrepresented in the pipeline for these roles. The results highlight that to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and support a vibrant Australian economy, requires a sense of urgency in harnessing under utilised pools of talent for the workforce and leadership positions. CEW is delighted that IBCWE, in conjunction with the Indonesian Stock Exchanges IDX200 is undertaking this vital research to track the representation of women in senior executive teams in publicly listed companies. Generating a strong evidence base such as this can be an important catalyst for action and change.”
Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Board Member of IBCWE and B20 Indonesia Chair: “The Census on Women Executive Leadership Team in IDX200 in line with the B20 mission through the Women in Business Action Council which discusses issues of gender diversity in the business world and women’s economic empowerment with particular emphasis on their representation in leadership positions in business.”