The AICD’s latest Gender Diversity Quarterly Report shows women represent 29.5 per cent of directors on the boards of Australia’s largest companies, as at the end of September 2019. This is down from 29.7 per cent in July 2019.

The rate at which women are being appointed to boards has also fallen from 45 per cent in 2018, down to 31.7 per cent in 2019.

AICD CEO and Managing Director, Angus Armour said these results should serve as a wake-up call to directors, investors and shareholders across the ASX 200.

“Australia is not lacking for talented and experienced women, and the profile of female directors being appointed to their first ASX 200 boards over the past two years is evidence of this,” he said.

“Boards struggling with gender diversity must challenge themselves and make commitments to do better. They should reflect on whether their search processes are effective and competitive enough to access the large talent pool of female directors in Australia, including whether their recruitment firms are helping them to eliminate any bias and to identify a diverse pool of candidates.”

The number of male-only boards in the ASX 200 also increased this year to seven (see below). This is in stark contrast to the United States where it was revealed in July that no companies in the S&P 500 had all male boards.

The report also featured research from The 30% Club that showed the percentage of female directors appointed to boards that had their initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2018.

Chair of the Australian Chapter for The 30% Club, Nicola Wakefield-Evans said the results were damning.

“Just 16.6 per cent of new directors appointed to these boards were women, clearly Australia has a long way to go.

“We need to ensure that from when companies list, the boards comprise of at least 30 per cent female directors,” she said.

The seven companies on ASX 200 board with no women on their boards were (as at 30 September 2019):

  • TPG Telecom Limited
  • HUB24 Limited
  • NRW Holdings Limited
  • Pro Medicus Limited
  • Polynovo Limited
  • Silver Lake Resources Limited
  • Speedcast International Limited
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