In September 2015, the AICD released the first quarterly report into gender diversity of Australia’s top boards. 30% by 2018: Gender Diversity Progress Report is a collection of the latest statistics, interviews, opinion pieces and case studies from individuals and companies on the path to increasing gender diversity of their boardrooms and executive pipelines.

    When the AICD began reporting on the make-up of Australia’s boardrooms in May this year, there were 36 ASX 200 companies with at least 30 per cent female directors on their boards. Now, it has risen to 38.

    The report offers updates and insights into the progress made towards gender diversity of boards and shows just how far we are from achieving our 30 per cent goal by 2018.

    At 30 November, 2015:

    • Women made up 21.5 per cent of ASX 200 boards
    • Women made up 34 per cent of ASX 200 board appointments by mid 2016
    • 28 companies have no female directors

    The AICD has had a long played a key role in supporting boards to achieve their diversity goals. As the current executive of the Australian chapter of the 30% Club, the AICD has championed the cause for having more women on boards right across the board.

    The Diversity Scholarship program is a well-established initiative that helps to encourage and foster gender diversity on boards.

    Since 2010, high-performing women from culturally diverse backgrounds, from growth sectors, from rural and remote locations and with experience in the boardroom have been offered the opportunity to undertake one of the AICD’s highly regarded governance education programs.

    This year, the AICD partnered with the federal government to run an additional round of scholarships, increasing the number of scholarships offered from 140 to 195.

    These scholarships have helped women navigate the path to directorship and excellence in governance and have connected them with like-minded, ambitious peers.

    Michelene Collopy, a 2010 scholarship recipient was offered the opportunity to undertake a residential Mastering the Boardroom course.

    “The course gave me the confidence to focus on my leadership skills and also gave me more confidence in boardroom participation, particularly in tackling challenging situations and being prepared to ask the difficult questions,” she says.

    “Since completing the course, I have been appointed to the Council of the University of Technology, Sydney, as well as to their Finance, Audit and Risk Committees. I was also promoted to Chair of Perpetual Superannuation, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committees at Teachers Mutual Bank and appointed to the St Ignatius College Bursary fund.”

    Sylvia Falzon completed the Company Directors Course four years ago through the Diversity Scholarship program. At the time, she had completed her executive career and commenced a career as a non-executive director.

    Participating in the program enhanced her knowledge of how a board operates. “After four years into being a non-executive director, I still refer back to my course material for guidance,” she adds.

    The AICD is committed to training Australia’s next generation of leaders and continues to support gender diversity through various initiatives and programs. For more information visit the Board Diversity section of the AICD website.

    Read Volume II of our 30% by 2018: Gender Diversity Progress Report.

    Volume I: June - July

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