Australian boards falling behind gender diversity target

Friday, 16 June 2017

The percentage of women being appointed to ASX 200 boards has fallen in the first half of 2017, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The drop in female appointments means the AICD’s target of achieving 30% female representation across ASX 200 boards by the end of 2018 may be slipping out of reach.

The Quarterly Gender Diversity report shows the monthly rate of female appointments to ASX 200 boards has declined from 44% in 2016 to just 30% in 2017. This equates to 17 female appointments compared to 40 male appointments in the first five months of 2017.

On a positive note, the report shows that the number of ASX 200 boards that have reached the 30% target has risen to 71, more than double the number that had reached the target two years ago. Women also make up 25.4% of ASX 200 directorships.

AICD Chairman Elizabeth Proust AO said research showed that gender diversity on boards led to better business outcomes, and that 30 per cent was the tipping point where critical mass was reached in a group setting.

“While we’ve made great progress since 2009 when women made up only 8.3% of ASX 200 boards, the drop in the rate of female appointments in 2017 is of significant concern,” she said.

“What is clear is that there is no supply problem, only one of demand.

“The AICD is calling on chairs and boards on the ASX 200 to continue to show leadership on gender diversity and to refocus their efforts on achieving the 30 per cent target as a priority.”

“This is an important concern for many stakeholders. For example, the recent announcement by ACSI that it will recommend a vote against any incumbent director who sits on an all-male board will hopefully make single-gender boards on the ASX sit up and take notice.”

There are still 13 boards on the ASX 200 with no women on their boards, six of which haven’t had a woman on their board in the last two years. Another 64 companies have only one woman on their board.

ASX 200 Boards with no female directors (as at 31 May 2017):

  • CIMIC Group Ltd
  • TPG Telecom Ltd
  • Evolution Mining Ltd
  • Qube Holdings Ltd
  • Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd
  • Investa Office Fund
  • Mineral Resources Ltd
  • Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd
  • ARB Corporation Ltd
  • Resolute Mining Ltd
  • Australian Agricultural Company Ltd
  • National Storage REIT
  • Bellamy's Australia Ltd

Download 30% by 2018: Gender diversity progress report for March – June 2017

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