Board diversity

Through research, regular reports and education programs, we advocate for greater diversity on boards.


Diversity to support future challenges.

In the AICD’s first Gender Diversity Progress Report for 2022 there is continued progress toward board gender parity being made by companies in the ASX 200 and 300, with the overall appointment rate of female directors remaining close to parity across the ASX.


Useful links

Here are some links to other organisations that provide services relevant to diversity and to women. This list is by no means exhaustive, but is intended to assist you and serve as a reference point.

State / Territory Government Registers for Board and Committee Opportunities

Each state and territory government maintains a register of people who are interested in serving on government boards and committees.

Our partners in promoting diversity
Registers for Board and Committee Opportunities

These registers enable women to record their interest in being considered for an appointment to boards, committees and other decision-making bodies.


Research and reports

Here are some reports and topics of research conducted by external organisations.


KPMG and 30% Club Australia: Building gender diversity on ASX 300 boards: Seven learnings from the ASX 200 on how to build greater gender diversity on boards

The need for different voices and experiences on boards has never been more apparent. The 30% Club and KPMG Australia have released a report exploring seven learnings from the ASX 200 on how – and why – building greater gender diversity on boards improves long-term outcomes.

The Credit Suisse Gender 3000 in 2019: The changing face of companies

This report has been created by the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) which has been researching gender diversity within the governance and executive leadership teams of companies since 2012. While we see increasing gender diversity in the boardroom, which has encouragingly doubled during the decade, it is a different story for senior executive positions, where progress has lagged. Barely five per cent of the CS Gender 3000 companies have female CEOs and less than 15 per cent have female CFOs. Regionally, North America and APAC reflect greater management diversity than we see in Europe. Asian economies have proportionally the most CEOs and CFOs.

Egon Zehnder: 2018 Global Board Diversity Tracker

Egon Zehnder have tracked gender and international diversity on boards around the world for the past 14 years. With the release of their 2018 report, Global Board Diversity Tracker: Who’s Really on Board?, they mark their most comprehensive effort yet.

Their conclusion is simple: boardroom diversity matters because it leads to better corporate outcomes. Their work also looks at just who serves on these boards, examining who serves in leadership positions, where new directors come from and how board leaders create productive teams. They also highlight success stories of companies that have made board diversity a priority.

Office for Women: Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards report 2017-18

The Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report is prepared annually by the Australian Government Office for Women, and reports on the Government’s performance against its gender diversity target.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS): 2019 Global Policy Survey Summary of Results

The survey is a part of ISS' annual global benchmark policy development process, and was, as every year, open to institutional investors, corporate executives, board members and all other interested constituencies to solicit broad feedback on areas of potential policy change for 2020 and beyond. In a change from recent years when the survey has been in multiple parts, this year’s questions were posed within a single integrated survey. Questions this year covered a broad range of topics, including: global questions on board gender diversity, director overboarding, and director accountability relating to climate change risk; combined chairman and CEO roles and the sun-setting of multi-class capital structures in the US; discharge of directors and board responsiveness to low support for remuneration proposals in Europe; and the display of GAAP metrics in one part of the ISS pay-for-performance quantitative model as a point of comparison to EVA (Economic Value Added) for companies in the US and Canada.

30% Club

The 30% Club aims to develop a diverse pool of talent for all businesses through the efforts of its chair and CEO members who are committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations. Business leadership is key to their mission, taking the issue beyond a specialist diversity effort and integrating it into enterprise-wide strategy development.

Australia: Korn Ferry and AICD: Australian Women CEO Speak

This report examines the careers of current and recent women CEOs in Australia and highlights common success factors on the road to becoming a CEO. The study also reveals the importance of board experience for women in the pipeline to the top job, in particular contributing to the women’s breadth of expertise and confidence before becoming CEO.

Australia: The University of Sydney Business School, Australian Human Rights Commission and AICD: Beyond the Pale – Cultural Diversity on ASX 100 Boards

This report explores the drivers and inhibitors to cultural diversity on Australian boards. It reveals that there are both perceptual and systematic barriers to cultural diversity on boards and also highlights the complexity of cultural diversity, raising issues around how we define cultural background, and ‘fitting in’, influence, contribution, voice and leadership.

Australia: CEW/MCC Backlash & Buy-In: Responding to the Challenges in Achieving Gender Equality

This report acknowledges that backlash and resistance are a natural part of change, and the importance of understanding the reasons why people respond differently to efforts to improve gender equality.

Australia: CEW ASX 200 Senior Executive Census 2018

This study measures the number of women in ASX 200 executive leadership teams as well as the proportion of women in ‘line’ and ‘functional’ roles.

Australia: 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra: From Girls to Men: Social Attitudes to Gender Equality in Australia

This research program presents qualitative findings derived from a national survey of 2,122 Australians about their attitudes to issues of sexism and gender inequality.

Australia: Chelsea Liu, Adelaide Business School, The University of Adelaide SA: Are women greener? Corporate gender diversity and environmental violations

This study examines the relationship between board gender diversity and corporate environmental violations finding that firms with greater board gender diversity are less often sued for environmental infringements.

USA: Heidrick & Struggles Board Monitor 2018: Appointment of women to boards hit record high

This report captures the key attributes – demographics, experience, functional roles – of new appointees to Fortune 500 companies, maps how those attributes flowed onto boards in each industry and identifies trends in their continuing evolution.

USA: and McKinsey & Company: Women in the Workplace 2018

This report tracks is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. Since 2015, and McKinsey & Company have been collaborating, publishing this report annually to give companies and employees the information they need to advance women and improve gender diversity with their organisations.

USA: PwC: Annual Corporate Directors Survey 2018

This report has gauged the views of public company directors from across the USA on a variety of corporate governance matters for more than a decade.

Australia: Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women: Advancing Women in Australia: Eliminating Bias in Feedback and Promotions
This report details the results of a survey on gender diversity in the C-suite and the factors affecting women’s prospects for promotion to C-suite roles in Australia. It also explores the actions that must be taken by organisations to improve gender diversity and business outcomes.

Canada: McKinsey & Company: The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Canada
This report explores the potential economic benefit of narrowing gender pay gaps in Canada and addresses current gender disparities in the workplace, as well as identifying actions to combat gender inequality. Advancing gender equality in Canada has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP in 2026.

Hong Kong: Heidrick & Struggles and Community Business (a Hong Kong NFP): Women on Boards: Hong Kong 2017
This report examines the representation of women on the boards of Hong Kong’s leading companies. It includes an in-depth review on gender diversity in the top 50 HIS listed companies over the previous five years and also offers a comparison with listed companies in the UK, USA and Australia.

USA: Deloitte: Women in the boardroom (5th edition)

This publications outlines efforts in over 60 countries to increase the number of women occupying board seats.

Australia: Deloitte Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative

This research, undertaken on behalf of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, is one of a suite of Women on Boards initiatives aimed at helping Queensland boards increase the representation of women. It found that gender parity on Queensland boards would deliver $87 million in productivity gains.

Australia: KPMG ASX Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations on Diversity: Analysis of disclosures for financial years ended between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015
This report analyses the disclosures on diversity statistics for financial years ending 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. It represents the fourth full year of reporting for many ASX listed entities and builds on the reports from 2012 and 2013 below.

Europe: McKinsey & Company: Women Matter 2016: Reinventing the workplace to unlock the potential of gender diversity
This most recent Women Matter report by McKinsey & Company analyses the results of a 2016 survey of 233 companies and 2200 employees in Europe and shows the progress towards gender diversity of listed European companies. It also states that more women in the workforce in Europe could add USD 2 trillion to the GDP by 2025.

United Kingdom: Cranfield University: The Female FTSE Board Report 2016
This report tracks the progress of women onto FTSE boards.

USA: Peterson Institute for International Economics: Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey
This analysis of a global survey of over 20,000 firms suggests the extent to which female presence in corporate leadership improves firm performance. It estimates that for profitable firms, a move from no female leaders to 30 per cent representation is associated with a 15 per cent increase in net revenue.


Luxembourg: European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE): Gender Equality in Power and Decision-Making

This publication is part of EIGE’s broader mandate of monitoring EU progress towards gender equality within EU policy framework, specifically in relation to the strategic objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action (acknowledged by the European Council in 1995). The report looks at how member states fare in terms of gender equality in power and decision-making positions within bodies of public, economic and social power between 2003 and 2014. In addition, the report presents new data on decision making in sport organisations.

United Kingdom: Deloitte: Women in the boardroom: A Global Perspective
Recent legislative efforts and other initiatives have helped bring women’s representation in the boardroom to an all-time high. Despite this, nearly 90 percent of the world’s board seats still belong to men. This third edition of the Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance’s publication, Women in the boardroom: A global perspective highlights those initiatives, spanning 25 countries and six continents, aimed at balancing the scales in favor of a more diverse and inclusive boardroom.

United Kingdom: Cranfield University: The Female FTSE Board Report 2015 
This report tracks the progress of women onto FTSE boards.

United Kingdom: PwC: Women in Work Index
This annual report details the statistics of women in work internationally.

USA: MSCI: Women on Boards: Global Trends in Gender Diversity
Many institutional investors are increasingly focused on the gender composition of company boards, according to this research. Some studies show significant outperformance by companies with women on boards, though here there is no direct link between the two. The featured research shows that companies in the MSCI World Index with strong female leadership generated a Return on Equity of 10.1% per year versus 7.4% for those without.

USA: PwC: Governing for the long-term: Board Composition and Diversity
Directors know their boards need the right expertise, attributes and experience in order to be well positioned to oversee long-term value creation. This includes having directors with diverse backgrounds.

Australia: KPMG: ASX Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations on Diversity: Analysis of disclosures for financial years ended between 31 December 2012 and 30 December 2013

The 2014 report provides an analysis of the disclosures on diversity made by a selection of ASX listed entities with financial years ended between 31 December 2012 and 30 December 2013. It focuses on an analysis of the second full year of reporting and provides for comparisons to be made and trends drawn between the first and second full years of reporting.

United Kingdom: Women in Mining (WIM) and PwC: Mining for talent 2014
This Rreport is the second in a series of three undertaken by WIM (UK) analysing gender diversity at board level of the top 500 mining companies around the world. It is co-authored with PwC and supported by Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Australia: Bain & Company: Creating a positive cycle: Critical steps to achieving gender parity in Australia

This report examines the lack of women in senior executive positions and the steps organisations can take to make tangible progress.

Australia: KPMG: ASX Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations on Diversity: Analysis of disclosures for financial years ended between 31 December 2011 and 30 December 2012
This report includes the first full reporting period (31 December 2011 to 30 December 2012) for a number of entities across the ASX since the diversity recommendations came into effect.

United Kingdom: Deloitte: Women in the boardroom: A Global perspective Third Edition
This report provides an overview of several countries' legislation on quotas, the percentage of women on boards and the initiatives adopted to increase the representation of women on boards and in senior management.


Australia: KPMG: ASX Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations on Diversity: Analysis of 31 December 2011 year end disclosures

This report provides an analysis of the disclosures made in relation to the ASX diversity recommendations by listed entities with a 31 December year end together with a review of the diversity practices adopted within the ASX Top 10 listed companies.

Australia: YWCA Australia, ACOSS & Women on Boards: Reflecting gender diversity: An analysis of gender diversity in the leadership of the community sector inaugural survey results
Report on the representation of women on the boards and senior management teams of the community sector in Australia.

United Kingdom: Equality and Human Rights Commission: Gender Diversity on Boards: The Appointment Process and the Role of Executive Search Firms
Examines the corporate board appointment process, how it operates in practice and the role of executive search firms.

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