Women on boards

12 October 2023

Why is the Increase of Women on Boards in Australia Significant?

Advocating for women on boards in Australia is not just about numbers, but it is a matter of equitable representation, strategic innovation, and balanced decision-making with an improved understanding of factors like consumer behavior, labor market dynamics, and sustainability.

Key Points:

  • The percentage of women on ASX 200 boards is currently 34.2%.
  • 41.8% of new appointments to ASX 200 boards are women.
  • There are no longer any boards in the ASX 200 without women representation.
  • Female appointments have shown an upward trend in the past decade, from just 5% in 2009 to 41.8% as of November 2021.

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How has the Representation of Women on Boards in Australia Improved Over the Years?

There is significant progression in the representation of women on boards in Australia. As of 2022, the percentage stands at 34.2% for ASX 200 boards. Progressive years have shown a positive trend as women constituted 41.8% of new appointments in 2021. It is a significant leap indeed when compared with lower rates of 5% in 2009 and 8% in 2008.

Why is it Essential to Have More Women on Board in Australia?

The positive shift towards more women on boards stems from an understanding of the benefits of having a diverse, inclusive board. Various studies recommend that gender-diverse boards are better equipped to handle the complexity and pace of modern business. Gender diversity may bring fresh perspectives and unique approach to problem-solving, significantly enhancing the board's collective competency. It also may contribute to organisational culture by instilling a broader range of values and promoting inclusive practices.

What is Australia Doing to Increase Women on Boards?

Australia is making systemic efforts to increase representation on boards. The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) has been actively promoting this cause through various initiatives such as the 30% Club. We offer rigorous programs and scholarships to women to prepare them for board roles and provide opportunities to network with business leaders. Various other government and not-for-profit initiatives also aim to bridge the gender gap.

What Does the Future Hold for Women on Boards in Australia?

While the current progress shows a promising trend, there is still a long journey ahead to achieve the AICD's goal of a 40/40/20 gender split on boards (40% male, 40% female, 20% male, female or other). The steady increase in the appointment of women to ASX 200 boards over the past decade suggests that more organisations are making a concerted effort to increase women's representation. As societal and business understanding of the value of gender diversity grows, we can expect further increases in women's representation on boards.

Various initiatives, research, and analysis by entities like AICD can play a vital role in this endeavor. The AICD, through our research and advocacy, will continue to promote greater gender balance in Australia's boardrooms.

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