New scholarships provide opportunities for culturally diverse female directors

Friday, 26 June 2015

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, today launched new scholarships for talented women who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or who come from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.

The 55 scholarships, which are jointly funded by the Federal Government and the AICD, are available to senior executives and existing female directors who wish to improve their credentials. Recipients will be eligible to complete either the Foundations of Directorship program or the Company Directors Course offered by the AICD. Scholarship applications close 5pm (AEST) on Monday 20 July.

“Boards must increasingly consider the cultural knowledge of their directors so that their composition reflects the diversity of society, and our new scholarships are designed to help them achieve this outcome”, said John Brogden, the AICD’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.

These latest scholarships are part of the AICD and Federal Government’s joint Board Diversity Scholarship Program. A total of 195 scholarships will have been granted in this round of the program by its closure, which is more than double the number awarded in each of the two previous rounds.

“We recently called on all companies to increase the proportion of women on their boards to 30 per cent and will continue to advocate for greater board diversity in gender, culture, thought and experience,” said Mr Brogden.

Since the launch of the Board Diversity Scholarship Program in 2010, there has been an encouraging increase in women on the boards of Australia’s largest companies. Monthly statistics compiled by the AICD show that women comprised 20 per cent of the directors on S&P/ASX 200 boards at 31 May, 2015, versus 8.3 per cent in 2009.

For further information on our scholarship programs, click here.  

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