Women Still Missing on ASX200 Boards
19 November 2014 at 9:24 am
The proportion of women directors on ASX 200 boards has reached new highs but remains “unacceptably low” according to the Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI).
ACSI’s new longitudinal study, Board Composition and Non-Executive Director Pay found that women accounted for 20 per cent of all ASX100 board seats and 17 per cent of ASX 100 directors, compared to figures of 11 per cent of ASX100 100 directors and 12 per cent of board seats recorded in 2009.
“Companies with no female directors will be a focus of ACSI’s engagement efforts this year,” ACSI chief executive, Gordon Hagart said.
“ACSI’s approach to board gender diversity is based on the belief that skilled and suitably diverse boards make for better-governed companies and, as such, higher value investments over the long-term.
“ACSI is pleased to see the continued improvement, albeit from a low base. This progress is a credit to the work of individual chairs and directors, investor groups like ACSI, and representative bodies such as the AICD.”
The research showed that more aggressive efforts will be needed to move board gender diversity to a more satisfactory level in Australia, particularly in companies outside the ASX 100, with the figures suggesting smaller companies lag behind on gender diversity issues.
Among the smaller cap (ASX 101-200) sample, the proportion of board seats held by women rose from 10 per cent in 2012 to 12 per cent and the proportion of female directors rose from 10 per cent per cent to 11 per cent.
Female representation among chairpersons however remained little changed, with only five ASX 100 female chairpersons and four in the ASX 101-200.
The research also showed the first fall in the average age of ASX100 directors in 13 years, from 62.9 in 2012 to 62.1.
This fall reflected declines in the average age of both female and male non-executive directors although the average age for the sample remained above the 2011 average of 61 years.
Statistics from the past decade show the renewal challenge for ASX 100 boards with the average age of directors increasing over time.
Read the full report here.