There aren’t enough women on Australian boards, and it’s not for lack of talented candidates. This International Women’s Day, we are urging directors to take a look around their board table and question whether they have the diversity of thought they need to stay competitive.
The ‘Flipping the Script’ video shows how unconscious bias affects women candidates before they have the chance to make an impact in Australian boardrooms. Based on feedback we received from members in the director community, the scenario shows the absurdity of unfair and irrelevant questions women encounter all too often while furthering their careers.
The AICD’s quarterly ‘30% by 2018: Gender diversity progress report’ found the current number of ASX 200 companies with at least 30 per cent female directors sits at 74. In her introductory piece, ‘Tackling Tokenism’, AICD Chairman Elizabeth Proust AO FAICD said she was “cautiously buoyed” by 2018 results year-to-date where women have accounted for 47 per cent of board appointments.
However, Proust detailed the case to continue to #PressforProgress, saying she is “still frustrated by the stagnation in appointment rates by the 63 boards that believe a token woman is enough to achieve the benefits of diversity”.
“‘Tokenism’, the practice of making a symbolic but ineffective effort to do a particular thing, is becoming one of the most insidious enemies of progress towards diversity and may result in us most likely missing our target of 30 per cent women on ASX 200 boards by the end of this year,” Proust said.
The AICD is calling on chairs and directors to root out gender-unfriendly bias in boardroom composition and challenge them on their understanding of the value of diversity; whether they are truly committed to making a difference.
There aren’t enough women on Australian boards, and it’s not for lack of talented candidates. It calls on directors to #PressforProgress, stop the bias and achieve true gender diversity on boards.