For the first time in eight years, not one woman has made it into the Business Herald's list of top-earning Kiwi executives.

The 2012 Executive Pay Survey shows the average chief executive pay packet has dropped by an average of 0.4 per cent in the 2011 financial year from the previous year.

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But possibly of greater concern to many is the fact that the list of 44 power earners is made up entirely of men, a first in the survey's eight year history.


It is worth noting that ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman was not included in the survey as the bank, a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is not listed on the NZX.

While there was only woman in last year's list, former ANZ chief executive Jenny Fagg was placed high up the list in seventh with her $2.8 million pay packet.

Fagg again flew the female flag in the 2009 financial year, although coming in lower down at 28th on $1.12 million.

In the previous year, then chief executive for Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Shayne Quanchi was the sole woman, sneaking in fourth from last out of 49.

Two women stood out in the 2007 financial year. Ann Sherry (Westpac) and Theresa Gattung (Telecom) placed first and third respectively. Restaurant Brand's Vicki Salmon also featured that year's list.

Sherry and Gattung were numbers one and two the year before.

The majority of NZX 100 companies have no female directors, with women comprising about 21 per cent of management positions reporting directly to chief executives.

Women hold about 9 per cent of private sector directorships.

The New Zealand stock exchange recently called for feedback from its members on a proposal to include gender diversity as part of its annual reporting.

The closing data for submissions was last week.

If the changes go ahead, members will have to disclose their diversity policies and the gender composition of their boards and senior management teams.

Sue Sheldon, a board member for Global Women, said her organisation saw the NZX proposals as a step in the right direction.

"What we don't support is mandatory quotas. We are more interested in working to increase the pool of women available for senior leadership positions."

Global Women is doing that through its year-long Women in Leadership Programme, which aims to significantly increase the number of women progressing to senior positions, said Sheldon, who is a professional company director.

"In addition, Global Women has been working with a number of organisations to combine our efforts."

By August last year, similar changes enacted by Australian Stock Exchange had resulted in a 50 per cent jump in representation of women on boards in just 18 months.

Of Australia's top 200 listed companies, 12.7 per cent had female directors by the beginning of August, compared to 9.3 per cent for the top 100 listed companies here.

A recent survey revealed that 48 per cent of women did not believe females were well-represented in senior management roles, versus just 29 per cent of men.

The survey, carried out by Financial Service Institute of Australasia (Finsia) in conjunction with the Bank of New Zealand, showed 63.9 per cent of male respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the promotion of women into senior roles was a priority in their organisation.

Women were more evenly divided, 48.6 per cent agreeing and 30 per cent disagreeing.

In terms of remuneration, nearly 70 per cent of women did not believe transparency existed around pay between the genders. This compared with 32 per cent of men.

The research is being used to launch a body called Women in Financial Services Forum.