Australia lags behind much of the world when it comes to the number of women in business leadership positions.
The Randstad Workmonitor Report shows that only 38 per cent of Australians surveyed said that female employees make up at least half of the leadership positions at their current employer.
This compared to 63 per cent in India, 54 per cent in Hong Kong, 48 per cent in the US and China and 43 per cent in the United Kingdom.
Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of the Australians surveyed also said it was more difficult for women to be promoted to leadership positions.
Randstad managing director Asia Pacific Deb Loveridge says Australian business leaders need to ensure there are legitimate career paths for both men and women.
"While we have traditionally embraced diverse working environments, in an increasingly global marketplace it's vital Australia doesn't fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to having balanced leadership teams," she said.
But it was not all bad news for Australia with 73 per cent saying their company actively encouraged female employees to pursue leadership roles, compared to 57 per cent globally.
Australians remained cautious on the merits of management quota with only 55 per cent believing it was an effective way to propel more women to senior positions.
Younger workers were greater believers in quotas than older employees, with 65 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 saying they were useful compared to only 45 per cent of those over 55.
More than half of the Australians surveyed (57 per cent) also said that working part-time hinders career progression, compared to 54 per cent globally.
Younger workers were the most wary about the impact of part-time working arrangements on their career, with 61 per cent believing it would hinder their progression.
Randstad's Workmonitor surveyed over 13,000 employees, aged 18 to 65 and working a minimum of 24 hours a week in paid employment, across 32 countries during January.
The survey was conducted via an online questionnaire.
By: Kylie Williams