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More Women Reach Corporate Board Level - Report


12 March 2014 at 8:47 am
Staff Reporter
The number of women on Australian corporate boards has more than doubled over the past four years, figures from the Australian Institute of Company Directors have revealed.

Staff Reporter | 12 March 2014 at 8:47 am


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More Women Reach Corporate Board Level - Report
12 March 2014 at 8:47 am

The number of women on Australian corporate boards has more than doubled over the past four years, figures from the Australian Institute of Company Directors have revealed.

Company Directors’ Chief Executive Officer, John Colvin, said the figures showed that while more progress still needed to be made, significant ground had been gained as Australian companies embrace the need for greater gender diversity on their boards and in senior management.

“A little over four years ago we announced our Board Diversity Initiative, which included a plan of action aimed at increasing the number of women on Australian boards,” Colvin said.

“We felt that the proportion of women on major company boards was not good enough and needed to be increased.

“We believed that we had to take a leadership role on this issue. We wrote to all chairmen of ASX200 companies outlining our initiatives, seeking their support in achieving greater representation for women on boards and in senior executive ranks.

“Believing that actions speak louder than words, we also introduced a range of practical programs which we thought would really make a difference – which have all since made a significant contribution to greater gender diversity on Australian boards.”

The figures show the percentage of female directorships on ASX200 boards has more than doubled from 8.3 per cent at January 1, 2010 to 17.6 per cent by February 14 this year.

Women now hold 23.8 per cent of directorships in the ASX20, 21.4 per cent of directorships on the ASX50 and 20.5 per cent of directorships on the ASX100.

The number of ASX200 boards without any female directors has more than halved from 87 boards in June 2010 to 42 boards. There are now only five ASX100 boards and one ASX50 board without a female director – and none in the ASX20.

The percentage of females among appointments to ASX200 boards increased from 5 per cent in the calendar year 2009 to 22 per cent in 2013 and women have made up 39 per cent of new appointments to ASX 200 boards to date in 2014.

The number of female Chairs on ASX200 boards has also doubled from five (2.5 per cent of all Chairs) in 2010 to 10 (5 per cent).

Over the past four years, Company Directors has launched a range of initiatives aimed at achieving greater gender diversity on boards and to help remove blockages in the “pipeline” of women rising through the ranks of senior management.

This included encouraging companies and boards to establish a diversity policy in which clear goals, and measurable milestones towards achieving these goals, are articulated, consistent with the particular requirements of their organisation, nature of the business and the stage of development of the business.

“A number of concrete measures which we have put in place have contributed to the real progress which is evident in the latest figures,” Colvin said.

“These include our successful Chairmen’s Mentoring Program, a world leading initiative now in its third year, the Board Ready program and our Board Diversity Scholarship programs, the first two of which have been in conjunction with the Federal Government.

“Over a quarter of the female appointments over the past four years are past or current mentees in our Chairmen’s Mentoring Program – and almost three quarters of the appointees are members of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.”

KEY FACTS

The following key outcomes have been identified from analysis of Company Directors’ figures for female non-executive director appointments to ASX200 boards over the last four years:

  • Total percentage of female directorships on ASX200 boards more than doubled from 8.3 per cent at January 1, 2010 to 17.3 per cent at January 1, 2014.

  • As at February 14 (the latest figures), this had risen further, with 17.6 per cent of directorships on the ASX200 occupied by women.

  • As at February 14, women held:

    • 23.8 per cent of directorships in the ASX20;

    • 21.4 per cent of directorships on the ASX50;

    • 20.5 per cent  of directorships on the ASX100.

  • The number of ASX200 boards without any female directors has more than halved from 87 boards (in June 2010) to 42 boards.
  • There are now only five ASX100 boards and one ASX50 board without a female director – and none in the ASX20.
  • The percentage of females among new director appointments to ASX200 boards increased from 5 per cent in the calendar year 2009 to an average 22 per cent for the year ending 2013.
  • Women have made up 39 per cent of new appointments to ASX200 boards to date in 2014 (as at February 14, 2014).
  • The number of female Chairs on ASX 200 boards has doubled from five (2.5 per cent in 2010 to 10 (5 per cent) as at January 1, 2014.
  • At the time of their appointment, the majority of female appointees held no existing (60.4 per cent) and no past (84.9 per cent) ASX200 non-executive directorships.

Staff Reporter  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews


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