Australia’s largest companies are leading the charge towards gender diversity with women now making up 30% of ASX 20 board positions.
Among the broader ASX 200, women now account for 25% of board positions, up from 8.3% in 2009 when the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) begun compiling figures.
The findings are part of a new report released today by the AICD, which has set a target of achieving 30% female representation on ASX 200 boards by the end of 2018.
While the results for the ASX 200 are positive, the AICD also analysed the make-up of the 23 boards that completed Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) during the 1st Quarter of this financial year and found only 7% of board members were women.
AICD Chairman Elizabeth Proust said the report showed that while significant progress had been made, there was still a fair way to go to achieve gender diversity on Australian boards.
“There is undeniable and mounting evidence that gender diversity on boards brings significant benefits,” she said.
“In total, 64 ASX 200 companies have reached our 30 per cent target. This is up from just 38 companies this time last year.
"While these results are positive, it is essential to remember that we will only reach the 30% target for the ASX 200 if appointment rates for women remain at 40% or above.
“Companies further down the ASX also need to understand the value that diversity can bring to their own boards. That message is clearly not being heard by companies that made IPOs in the first quarter, considering males made up an astonishing 93% of those boards.”
Download 30% by 2018: Gender Diversity Progress Report for September–November 2016