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Gender Equity: Big Companies Better on Boards


9 March 2016 at 8:57 am
Lina Caneva
New research, released for International Women’s Day, has revealed the best and worst points of women’s participation in corporate Australia.

Lina Caneva | 9 March 2016 at 8:57 am


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Gender Equity: Big Companies Better on Boards
9 March 2016 at 8:57 am

New research, released for International Women’s Day, has revealed the best and worst points of women’s participation in corporate Australia.

The report covers female participation on boards and in management as well as assessing policies to help women in the workplace.

While some companies on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) have real equality on their boards, overall the ASX has a long way to go, the Catalyst Research showed.

ASX50 companies have 27 per cent female board members while the ASX200 has just 22 per cent.

Top and bottom companies, women on boards, ASX100

Top and bottom companies, women on boards, ASX100

Women’s participation in management positions is stronger across the ASX200 (37 per cent) than the larger companies in the ASX50 (29 per cent). Health care companies performed best in the ASX100.

Women’s participation in management positions is stronger across the ASX200 (37 per cent) than the larger companies in the ASX50 (29 per cent). Health care companies performed best in the ASX100.

“The ASX50 has five CEOs named Andrew, four named Michael but only three who are women: Alison Watkins (Coca Cola Amatil), Susan Lloyd-Horwitz (Mirvac Group) and Kerrie Mather (Sydney Airport),” report author Martijn Boersma said.

“It’s very unfortunate to see that larger companies in the ASX50 are behind the ASX200 average for women in management positions. It’s important to recognise that there is no apparent ‘trickle-down’ from board to management.”

Corporate social responsibility analyst from CAER research, Julia Leske, who also provided some data for Catalyst’s report, said she was disappointed by the results.

“You would think in 2016 that Australia’s biggest companies would want board representation of half the population,” Leske said.

“The research also shows there has been only glacial improvement on the gender pay gap. If we maintain the current rate of progress, we won’t reach gender equity until 2087.”

Catalyst is a think-tank promoting social and economic equality and improved standards of corporate social responsibility. The full report and interactive ESG Dashboard can be found here.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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