Australia is falling behind other nations in terms of women in corporate and political leadership positions, a new study shows.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Tuesday released the December Australian Social Trends (AST) study.

ABS director Jane Griffin-Warwicke said while women made up just over half of Australia’s population, only 3.5 per cent of ASX 200 companies had a female CEO, and only 12.3 per cent of corporate board directors were women.

Looking at the nation’s politics, women represented 29 per cent of federal parliamentarians and 30 per cent of state and territory parliamentarians — a figure that remained relatively stable in recent years.

The study found that Australia’s global ranking in terms of women in national parliaments had slipped from 21 to 38 over the past decade.

However, there was some good news in the Australian public service where women made up 39 per cent of positions in the Senior Executive Service and 47 per cent of middle management positions.

And the report noted that when Queen Elizabeth II visited Canberra in October 2011, she was greeted by an entourage of women, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Governor-General Quentin Bryce and ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher.

The study said there had been an increase in female representation at corporate board director level, rising from 8.4 per cent in 2010 to 12.3 per cent in 2012.

For the first time since the Women in Leadership study began, more ASX 200 companies (62 per cent) had at least one woman director than those that did not.

And the number of ASX 200 companies with more than one woman director had increased from 13 per cent in 2010 to 23 per cent in 2012.

Source: AAP

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