Perceptions about the way working women should behave – including negotiating and having ‘executive presence’ – are part of the problem

It’s once again time to celebrate International Women’s Day, but this day is a timely reminder that, despite the achievements of women everywhere, we still face considerable barriers to full participation at work.

In Australia, the national gender pay gap is 17.3%; women make up only 35% of all full-time employees and 21% of ASX directors; and the workforce participation rate for women is only 59.5% compared with 71% for men. According to the latest PwC annual Women in Work index, Australia has fallen back to its pre-2007 performance on female economic empowerment. The annual index measures equality of earnings, the ability of women to access employment opportunities and job security in OECD countries.