This quarter we took a closer look at appointments to ASX 300 boards over the past 12 months, with a focus on directors joining the index for the first time. Women accounted for 70 of the 139 (50 per cent) first-time NED appointments, and more than half (53 per cent) of all women NEDs appointed were attaining their first ASX 300 role.

    We also note that the 30 per cent aggregate milestone for women on boards was reached in companies in the ASX 201-300 ranks. This is a significant achievement for smaller cap companies who may have less robust organisational governance, culture and strategy towards achieving gender diversity. 

    Disappointingly, following the most recent ASX rebalance, an all-male board has entered the ASX 200 once again. This comes less than a year after the AICD reported that there were no all-male boards in the ASX 200 for the first time in history.

    AICD GM Governance and Policy Leadership, Louise Petschler said “This regression serves as a reminder that boards cannot afford to be complacent about their diversity goals, and continued progress towards parity cannot be assumed.

    “There are still 127 ASX 300 boards with less than 30 per cent women, and 53 of them have only one or no women at all; progress made can be easily lost. A continued focus is needed to ensure women’s participation on every board.”

    The AICD encourages all organisations to embrace a 40:40:20 model of gender diversity, where boards have at least 40 per cent women directors and 40 per cent men directors, as good practice.

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