Migrants have better chances at landing a CEO role Down Under than

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Have you ever considered DNA as a factor that could affect your chances of moving up the corporate ladder?A study by Macquarie University’s Faculty of Business and Economics based on census data shows that Australian-born employees are less likely to become CEOs and MDs in privately owned companies than people born overseas, and the news is positive for second and third generations of Greeks.According to the research published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, people’s demographic backgrounds can affect their representation when it comes to reaching the top of their business sector.As Professor of the Department of Management at the Centre for Workforce Futures Nick Parr and PhD student Sheruni De Alwis highlight, factors the likes of place of birth, first and second language, gender, religion and ancestry can determine the progress of a senior executive.Proficiency in English appears to be highly important for chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director (MD) positions.“Some English-speaking migrant groups were more highly represented amongst CEOs and MDs than were the Australia-born, relative to numbers of employed as a whole,” Professor Parr notes pointing out to the many high-ranking immigrants from Canada, England, South Africa and the USA.“We also found that migrants from countries with known high levels of proficiency in English – like Germany and Holland – were relatively highly represented among CEOs and MDs.”Another group that has recorded upward mobility is second generation Greek and Lebanese Australians. While their first generation ancestors were under-represented in the corporate hierarchy dominating the labour market, citizens of that ancestry are steadily overtaking senior executive roles in manufacturing, the sector their parents were employed in from the 1950s till the 1980s.While more Asian countries nationals are consistently being recorder in CEO roles across Australia – mainly executives from China – ratios of employees born in the Philippines, Vietnam, India and China ascending to CEO and MD roles are significantly lower than their representation in the general workforce, however skilled migrants born in South Korea or Japan are exceptions.“Migration patterns under that scheme were initially skewed towards people from Korea and Japan, but more recently it has predominantly consisted of migrants from China,” Professor Parr explains.“Another factor that may play a role is the controlling interests in Australian companies of certain American and Japanese multinationals.”Even though the Lucky Country can boast one of the most diverse workforce worldwide, the Macquarie-led analysis showcases a different reality in its upper managerial ranks, where masculinity is still prevalent in leadership even though female representation is on the up in boardrooms.“In nearly 50,000 CEOs or MDs in the Australian data, most aged between the ages of 40 and 60, only 19.3 per cent of these were female,” the study notes cautiously attributing the numbers to conscious and unconscious discrimination in appointment and promotion decisions by the dominant white male group.“These findings may help other scholars to better understand patterns of leadership style and organisational culture that we have in Australia,” Professor Parr concludes, speculating that “it is possible that cultural priorities, hidden ‘ceilings’ or unconscious or covert discrimination against people from certain backgrounds lie behind some of the statistics”.last_img

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