Filling the Pool

Differences between how men and women self-promote, how they access critical networks, experience corporate culture, deal with direct and indirect discrimination and manage their domestic roles are just some of the preliminary findings of Dr Terry Fitzsimmons as part of the Committee for Perth’s ‘Filling the Pool’ research project.

Dr Fitzsimmons has conducted more than 150 interviews with people ranging from CEO’s to senior and middle management, board and chair members, HR recruiters and women who have opted out of management roles, to examine how Western Australian businesses can increase the participation rates of women in middle and senior levels of the corporate landscape.

In Western Australia’s top corporates, women hold just:

* 7.1% of directorships in top companies
* 1.6% of CEO positions in top companies
* 1.3% of female chairs in top companies

These figures are significantly behind those of any other state of Australia.

Women are not just an underutilised resource but Western Australia has a gender pay-gap of 26%, by far the largest in Australia.

At this Perth in Focus luncheon, Dr Fitzsimmons will present the foundations for the research project as well as the preliminary findings of the 'Filling the Pool' project and begin to answer the question of whether there really are significant differences facing women in WA compared to the rest of the Country?

Meet our speakers and panellists

Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons Image
Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons

Lead Researcher

Terry is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of experience. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the University of Queensland Business School researching leadership transitions. He recently completed a PhD Thesis titled ‘Navigating CEO appointments: Do Australia’s top male and female CEOs differ in how they made it to the top?’ Terry is a management consultant who has worked with many of Australia’s largest firms, an international professional speaker engaged in the area of gender equity and inclusion and a lecturer in the areas of leadership, strategy, gender diversity and management. He consults to the Education Departments of Queensland, NSW & Victoria in the delivery of the National History Curriculum. He has served as national and state presidents of not for profit bodies as well as a director on boards of Listed Public.

Companies in Australia and overseas. Terry’s thesis ‘Navigating CEO appointments: Do Australia’s top male and female CEOs differ in how they made it to the top’. Terry’s research uncovered a surprising statistic relating to the characteristics required for a woman to reach the top of the corporate ladder, namely that they are most likely to have survived a significant trauma in childhood and/or come from small business stock. He also discovered that the traits for men who succeed were quite different. They generally grow up in a stable household with a stay-at-home mum and a dad who has a professional career. It also helps to captain the school football team.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.