The number of women on ASX200 boards has hit a record high but probably won't hit target

File photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Female representation on ASX 200 company boards of directors has hit a record 26%, according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

The AICD’s Quarterly Gender Diversity Report tracks progress towards the institute’s target of 30% female representation across ASX 200 boards by the end of 2018, a level which now seems unlikely to be reached in time.

“While the signs of meeting our target by the end of 2018 are not looking promising, we are not giving up,” says AICD chair Elizabeth Proust.

“We are determined to drive this change and take strength in the many who have joined us on this journey.”

The state of play:

Source: AICD

The latest analysis shows the number of boards with no women has fallen almost 75%, from 30 in 2015 to 16 this time last year, to now just eight.

The number of boards that have reached or passed the 30% gender diversity target has also doubled, to 70 at the end of November this year from 35 in September 2015.

However, the drop in female appointments over 2017 means the AICD’s target of achieving 30% female representation across ASX 200 boards by the end of next year may be slipping out of reach.

The monthly appointment rate of women to ASX 200 boards has fallen from a peak of 44% last year to 35% in 2017.

“More than 55% of all university graduates in Australia are women,” says Proust.

“So why is it that by the time we get to executive ranks that number is reduced to 20” and on the boards of our largest companies it remains at around 26%?

“It is clear that the senior ranks of many of our corporate sector organisations don’t reflect our community – nor the widespread talent within it.”

The eight ASX companies without a female board member and their chairs:

Source: AICD

(Disclosure: Chris Pash is a member of the AICD.)

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