Why the US is the world’s only major economy without women

By MATT PALMER AUSTRALIA’S top-grossing economy is missing almost all women in its workforce.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest data shows that, as of September 30, the gender ratio of employees at the Reserve Bank was 6.7% in the most recent quarter, which was the lowest in the world.

In the US, the ratio was 8.2%.

The US has the world second-lowest ratio of women in senior management, behind Japan, which has the fourth-lowhest ratio, at 13.3%.

“We are the only major developed country that does not have a gender-balanced workforce,” Reserve Bank President Graeme Wheeler said in a statement.

Women comprise 13.4% of the Reserve’s 1,632 full-time employees in the financial services, banking and insurance sectors, the biggest gender gap in the economy, according to the data.

Australia’s ratio is only slightly higher than the US’ 5.7%, and has remained below the 10% range in the past five years.

“It is a fact that women are a small and disadvantaged group of the workforce, but it is a reality that is not easily addressed,” Wheeler said.

There are more women than men in the banking sector, accounting for 19.7 per cent of the business workforce.

But in the health sector, where women account for 14.7 percentage points of the workers, the gap is even larger, with 20.9 per cent women, the second-highest in the OECD.

The Reserve said the number of women employed in the private sector grew by 1.5 million between 2007 and 2011.

While the gender gap has narrowed, the proportion of women working full- and part-time has remained static.

According to the latest figures, Australia’s share of women on full-timers is about 19.5%, compared with 22.3% in Japan.

The Bank’s latest survey, on the gender composition of its staff, showed that just 1.7 million of the 3.9 million people employed in financial services and the banking, insurance and real estate sector are women.

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