Women clos­ing gap

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - ELI GREENBLAT

Women now ac­count for 27.7 per cent of di­rec­tors across ASX 200 com­pa­nies, up from 25.4 per cent this time last year.

The re­port also re­veals that for the first time, women make up three in every 10 di­rec­tors at ASX 100 com­pa­nies.

Over the year-to-date, how­ever, the ap­point­ment rate for women join­ing ASX 200 boards has dipped slightly af­ter women made up a smaller pro­por­tion of ap­point­ments last month.

That rate now stands at 49 per cent, drop­ping be­low 50 per cent for the first time since Jan­uary.

Kevin McCann, a mem­ber of sup­port group Male Cham­pi­ons of Change and a for­mer chair­man of Mac­quarie, said a 2007 McKin­sey study ti­tled Women Mat­ter showed greater di­ver­sity in lead­er­ship cor­re­lated with bet­ter eco­nomic per­for­mance.

This was the case where women were in at least 30 per cent of lead­er­ship roles, while be­low that thresh­old, no im­prove­ment was ob­served, he said.

Mr McCann said women di­rec­tors had made im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions and gen­der ini­tia­tives gave com­pa­nies a wider ac­cess to tal­ent. “There is a pipe­line of tal­ented women avail­able for boards with a broad range of skills,” he said.

In­sti­tute chair Eliz­a­beth Proust said while the quar­terly re­sults showed pos­i­tive progress to­wards the tar­get of achiev­ing 30 per cent fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion across ASX 200 boards by the end of this year, the fig­ures for May were cause for con­cern.

“The ob­sta­cle to achiev­ing this tar­get has long been one of de­mand, not of sup­ply,” she said. “Aus­tralia is not lack­ing for tal­ented and ex­pe­ri­enced women, and the breadth and depth of ex­pe­ri­ence of fe­male ap­pointees in 2018 is ev­i­dence of that.

“How­ever, even with the cur­rent year-to-date fe­male ap­point­ment rate of 49 per cent, achiev­ing the 30 per cent tar­get by the end of this year will be tough.”

The re­port said there re­mained five boards of ASX 200 com­pa­nies with no women as at May 31, down from 13 this time last year. These in­cluded au­to­mo­tive ac­ces­sories group ARB Cor­po­ra­tion, min­ing ser­vices com­pany Aus­drill and salmon pro­ducer Tas­sal.

The Australian

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