Jacinda Ardern may be leading the charge for young women in politics, but many are finding it hard to climb the corporate ladder, a study has found.
The latest New Zealand Diversity Survey shows that 20 per cent of businesses have leadership teams comprised predominantly of men (75 per cent).
The number of businesses with leadership teams made up of 75 per cent of men increased to 30 per cent in organisations with 200-plus employees.
Diversity Works New Zealand chief executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says the numbers are contributing to the "leaky pipeline" effect where women leave the business as they cannot see a role for themselves at the senior level.
"We need a more even gender split across leadership in all our organisations. We need more women in senior levels, mentoring our aspiring female leaders," Ms Cassidy-Mackenzie said.
"It's not just the right thing to do; it makes good business sense. Research has shown that having more women in the senior ranks of a business increases profitability."
The report also found that only a fifth of respondents identified an under representation of Maori and Pasifika in their organisations.
Massey University professor Paul Spoonley was surprised that organisations did not think ethnic diversity was a big issue.
"The concern is that employers stress 'the best person for the job,' when in fact ethnic or gender diversity should be a consideration," he says.