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Australian boards struggling with gender diversity

1 November 2019 at 4:33 pm
Luke Michael
The rate of women being appointed to boards has fallen more than 13 per cent

Luke Michael | 1 November 2019 at 4:33 pm


Australian boards struggling with gender diversity
1 November 2019 at 4:33 pm

The rate of women being appointed to boards has fallen more than 13 per cent

The percentage of women on ASX 200 boards has fallen while the number of male-only boards has increased, the Australian Institute of Company Directors has revealed.

The AICD’s latest Gender Diversity Quarterly Report found women represented 29.5 per cent of directors on ASX boards on 30 September 2019, down from 29.7 per cent in July.

There were seven ASX 200 companies that did not have any women on their boards, up from four companies at the end of June.

AICD CEO and managing director Angus Armour said these results should be a wake-up call to directors, investors and shareholders across the ASX 200.

“Australia is not lacking for talented and experienced women, and the profile of female directors being appointed to their first ASX 200 boards over the past two years is evidence of this,” Armour said.

“Boards struggling with gender diversity must challenge themselves and make commitments to do better. They should reflect on whether their search processes are effective and competitive enough to access the large talent.”

The report also found that the rate women are being appointed to boards has fallen, from 45 per cent in 2018 to 31.7 per cent this year.

AICD and campaign group The 30% Club are aiming for 30 per cent women on ASX 200 boards.

Advocates believe the 30 per cent target represents “the floor and not the ceiling” for gender diversity and eventually want a 40/40/20 model – 40 per cent female representation, 40 per cent male and 20 per cent either/other gender.

The chair of the Australian chapter for The 30% Club, Nicola Wakefield-Evans, said the latest figures were damning.

“Just 16.6 per cent of new directors appointed to these boards were women, clearly Australia has a long way to go,” Wakefield-Evans said.

The full report can be seen here

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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