ASX 200 boards have made substantial progress since 2009 when the percentage of female directors stood at just 8.3%. It now stands at 27.7%.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors March-May 2018 Quarterly Report has shown an encouraging female appointment rate of 49%. However, the drop in female appointment in May could be cause for concern. There remain five boards on the ASX 200 with no women, down from 13 this time last year.
Key figures from the report include:
The report also includes insights from Non-Executive Director and Founding Male Champions of Change member Kevin McCann AM and Australian Shareholders’ Association CEO Judith Fox.
Mr McCann AM said his personal experience across a variety of sectors supported research showing the benefits of achieving a critical mass of female directors. However, he noted a “laissez-faire approach” will not overcome the obstacles which prevent talented women from obtaining leadership roles. “Only after 10 years of effort from the AICD, Chief Executive Women, the Male Champions of Change and the 30% Club, is Australia achieving significant female representation on ASX 200 boards,” he said.
ASA CEO Judith Fox said the research was clear that greater gender diversity on boards delivered better outcomes for shareholders. “Boards need to be capable of challenging assumptions and offering different viewpoints, and having diverse voices around the table encourages this.”