The 30% Club To Promote Aussie Gender Balance
6 May 2015 at 11:16 am
An ambitious group which urges chairs and CEOs of listed companies to improve gender balance without the use of quotas has officially launched its Australian arm.
The 30% Club – a group of Chairs and CEOs committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations through voluntary actions – is holding launch events in Sydney and Melbourne with other capital cities to follow.
In Australia, the group is campaigning for 30 per cent women on Australia’s top 200 listed company boards by 2018.
“We believe a diverse and inclusive business culture is in the best interest of our organisations and the stakeholders it serves. Therefore we support the campaign to achieve 30% of ASX 200 seats held by women by end-2018,” according to the group.
“So far, we have the support of the majority of ASX-20 Chairman and significant commitment among the top 50. Agreement to the ‘ask’ does not mean the supporters’ own organisations must already be at 30%; rather it shows support for the campaign to get there.”
“The 30% Club is becoming an international, business-led approach focused on developing a pipeline of senior female talent. It is complementary to individual company efforts and existing networking groups – adding to these through collaboration and the visible commitment of senior business leaders,” Chair of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and non-executive director of Macquarie Group, Patricia Cross said.
“Scarce representation of women at senior levels is a global problem. Business leadership combined with a measurable goal can create a paradigm shift.
“We do not believe mandatory quotas are the right approach. Instead, the 30% Club is a campaign for meaningful, sustainable change.”
Founded by Helena Morrissey, the Club launched in the UK in 2010 with an aspirational goal of 30 per cent women on FTSE-100 boards by end 2015. There are now 112 members of the UK Club and the proportion of female FTSE-100 directors has risen from 12.5 per cent in 2010 to 22.8 per cent in October 2014.
In the past two years clubs have also been established in Hong Kong, the US, Ireland, Canada, Southern Africa and New Zealand.
“Diversity is vital to a proper functioning board of directors as it does not make sense to limit a board to a pool of talent that only makes up 50 per cent of the population,” the Chair of ANZ and Coca-Cola Amatil, David Gonski said.
“We all have a leadership role to play and I hope this initiative motivates the business community to produce meaningful momentum on this important issue.”