Sydney has been ranked as the eleventh most accommodating city for female entrepreneurs to thrive, in a global index.
Melbourne came in at number 17 in Dell’s WE Cities Index, which rates cities based on their ability to foster ‘high-potential women entrepreneurs’.
“Enabling entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, unlocks significant value and prosperity for our cities. This report highlights what Sydney and Melbourne are doing well, including equal pay, non-discrimination hiring, paternal leave and advocacy,” said Angela Fox, leader, commercial and public sector,Dell EMC ANZ.
“Australia is starting to make a positive change and by learning from the other global cities leading the way, there is even more we can do to enable our female entrepreneurs across the country.”
The top ten cities were: New York, the Bay Area of San Francisco, London, Boston, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Singapore, Toronto and Seattle.
Locations are judged on 72 indicators, split across five characteristics: capital, technology, talent, culture and markets.
In last year’s index Sydney ranked eighth, while Melbourne did not feature in the top 25, although the methodology of the index has changed somewhat.
Recommended ‘areas of improvement’ for Sydney were greater equity in wages and a lowering of housing costs.
Although the gender pay gap is relatively small in Australia, there was a large disparity in some industries, the report noted. Expensive real estate in the New South Wales capital was an “impediment for entrepreneurs attempting to establish themselves in the city,” Dell EMC said.
Melbourne had a city government that was active in encouraging women entrepreneurs, the index said, and scored highly for its ‘enabling environment’. However, it scored poorly for the availability of local talent, and lacks globally recognised women entrepreneurs and female political leaders. “More city level organizations for businesswomen would help,” the report said.
“The value female entrepreneurs bring to our cities and economy is clear. City leaders and policy makers have already recognised this and will continue to lead the way in improving the landscape for these high potential women,” said Mark Fioretto, leader enterprise, Dell EMC ANZ.
“However, business leaders also have a part to play in developing an ecosystem for entrepreneurs to thrive. From fostering inclusive and diverse workforces, with open and collaborative mindsets, through to removing barriers forwomento enter traditionally male dominated industries.”