Women now 30 per cent of top 200 boards

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Matt Coughlan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Women now make up 30 per cent of the boards of Australia’s top 200 companies for the first time.

The milestone comes a year after the goal was set.

In April 2015, the Australian Institute of Company Directors set a target of lifting women on ASX200 company boards from 20-to-30 per cent by the end of 2018.

Nicola Wakefield Evans, who chairs 30% Club Australia, said reaching the mark was a proud achievement.

“While this is significant step in our journey, it’s important to remember that 30 per cent is the floor, not the ceiling,” she said.

“While we applaud the ongoing hard work of each board that is addressing gender diversity, we will ensure there is continued pressure on those who don’t, to continue increasing the number of female directors.”

There are seven ASX200 companies without a woman on the board including TPG Telecom, NRW Holdings, Pro Medicus, New Hope Corporation, Silver Lake Resources and Speedcast International.

Investment and superannuation firm HUB24 will shake the tag when Ruth Stringer joins its board in February.

AICD chief executive Angus Armour said reaching the mark was a great achievement despite being late.

“We should celebrate the progress that has been made, which is evidence that meaningful change can be achieved through voluntary targets,” he said.

He said companies could see the value of diversity with a mix of view increasing board performance and reducing the risk of group think.

While the top 20 listed companies have more than 35 per cent women on the board, the figure falls to 24 per cent when the entire stock market is considered.

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