10 Mar 2014

Glass ceiling harder to break

11:34 am on 10 March 2014

The glass ceiling that stands in the way of women getting the top jobs appears to be getting thicker and more difficult to break.

While the number of women on company boards or in executive roles is increasing worldwide, an international survey by Grant Thornton has found New Zealand down from fourth in 2004 to 15th now.

Grant Thornton New Zealand partner Stacey Davies said the results were disappointing because it showed New Zealand women had made no real progress in the corporate sector during the past decade.

"All of the statistics seem to be implying a negative trend from the New Zealand perspective," Ms Davies said.

"One of the things it seems to indicate is there was a bit of a dip during the financial crisis, and the research suggests that women were hit disproportionately hard in the global recession."

Subsequently they were still trying to catch up to where they were a few years ago, she said.

"The other element is, looking at the number of graduates that are coming through, there's a disproportionately low level of women graduates that are finding positions, and obviously they're our future leaders as well."

Saturday is International Women's Day.