Women in high-growth sectors recognised with new scholarships

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, have announced the winners of 40 scholarships for women who work in sectors that are expected to dominate future economic growth.

The scholarships, which are jointly funded by the AICD and the Federal Government, will allow the recipients to complete either the Company Directors Course or Foundations of Directorship program offered by the AICD.

Women working in the oil, gas and energy industry dominated this round of the Board Diversity Scholarship Program, winning 17 of the 40 scholarships on offer. Other recipients came from the four remaining industries prioritised in the Australian Government’s industry innovation and competitiveness agenda. These are:

  • Food and agribusiness
  • Mining equipment, technology and services
  • Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
  • Advanced manufacturing

“These important industries are likely to play a pivotal role in Australia’s future and we are providing an opportunity for talented women to obtain credentials that will allow them to contribute to this growth,” said John Brogden, the AICD’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

These latest scholarships complete the third round of the Board Diversity Scholarship Program. A total of 140 women have been granted scholarships since September last year, double the number awarded in each of the previous two rounds of the program.

“The scholarship program is an important part of our efforts to increase the number of women on Australian boards. 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 generally,” Mr Brogden said.

The AICD’s educational courses have been completed by the directors of many successful organisations, including listed companies, private business and not-for-profit organisations. Its flagship Company Directors Course is now in its 40th year.

Since the launch of the scholarship program in 2010, there has been an encouraging increase in the number of 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 March 31, versus 8.3 per cent in 2009.

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