ASX200 companies have suddenly started appointing women to their boards

Holly Kramer, a non executive director at Woolworths and Australia Post. Image: AICD

  • More than a quarter (26.7%) of ASX200 board directors are women.
  • Five ASX boards have no women on their boards and 62 have only one female director.
  • 74 companies on the ASX200 have met the 30% female representation target.

The percentage of women being appointed to ASX200 boards has spiked, according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

In the first two months of 2018, women accounted for 47% of ASX 200 board appointments (16 women versus 18 men), up from a 36% overall in 2017 and a record high.

The AICD’s Quarterly Gender Diversity Report, which tracks progress towards a target of 30% female representation across ASX200 boards by the end of 2018, also shows women now account for 26.7% of ASX200 directorships.

The percentage of female directors across the ASX200 has risen dramatically since 2009 when it stood at just 8.3%. Growth stalled late last year but has since taken off again.

And now the number of ASX200 companies with no women around the board table stands at only five, down from 14 last International Women’s Day (March 8).

Across the ASX200, a total of 74 companies have reached or exceeded the 30% target.

The five boards with no female directors are: ARB Corporation, Speedcast International Ltd, Ardent Leisure Group Ltd, TPG Telecom, Pilbara Minerals Ltd.

Source: AICD

“Today’s report reveals that 2018 has seen the highest rate of female appointments to ASX 200 boards since the AICD began tracking gender diversity statistics,” says AICD Chairman Elizabeth Proust.

“While this news is encouraging, it is only reflective of the first two months of 2018. We’ll need sustained momentum of this kind if we are to reach our goal of 30% female representation across the ASX 200 by the end of the year.

“The boards of our largest companies have 10 months to prove to the community that they take the issue of gender diversity seriously.”

She says greater diversity on boards is vital to the future of good governance in Australia.

“Diverse boards and leadership teams lead to better outcomes for shareholders and stakeholders alike. They lead to greater innovation and better bottom lines,” she says.

The AICD has also made a video featuring leading company directors Holly Kramer, Di Smith Gander and Sally Pitkin in a reverse role play where they ask an interviewee, someone called Greg, the same questions that many women are still asked in director interviews: