AICD calls on all boards making an appointment to have a 50/50 candidate list

1 min  09.03.2018
The Australian Institute of Company Director's (AICD) Quarterly Gender Diversity Report tracks progress towards the AICD target of achieving 30% female representation across ASX 200 boards by the end of 2018. Though the latest report found that the rate of female board appointments to ASX 200 boards has significantly improved, AICD Chair Elizabeth Proust has encouraged boards to implement 'at least a 50/50 candidate list' for board appointments to increase the chances of meeting the 30% gender target 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' Ms Proust said.

Key Findings

  • Women now account for 26.7% of ASX 200 directorships.

  • ASX 200 boards are appointing more women: The percentage of female appointments to ASX 200 boards has increased to 47% in 2018, up from a 36% in 2017.  Ms Proust comments that this is the highest rate of appointments since AICD began its tracking in 2015.

  • Only five boards on the ASX 200 report zero female representation: ARB Corporation, Ardent Leisure Group Ltd, Pilbara Minerals Ltd, Speedcast International Ltd and TPG Telecom.  

  • Target of 30% female board representation by the end of the year may be attainable? Across the ASX 200, a total of 74 companies have reached or exceeded the 30% target.  However, Ms Proust comments that there are over 20 boards that have yet to meet the 30% target and have one or more male directors who have served the ASX Corporate Governance Council's recommended term.  Ms Proust comments that if every one of these men were replaced by a woman, the target of 30% female representation by the end of the year 'may well be in reach'.  She adds that the AICD will be 'working with the 30% Club to achieve change on these boards'.

50/50 candidate list for board appointments: AICD Chair Elizabeth Proust comments that though she is 'encouraged by this enthusiastic start to the year, I am still frustrated by the stagnation in appointment rates by the 62 boards that believe a token woman is enough to achieve the benefits of diversity'.  She adds that to address this, and to increase the chances of meeting the 30% gender target, the AICD is 'calling on all boards making an appointment to have at least a 50/50 candidate list. If your search firm isn’t short and long listing 50 per cent quality female candidates – they’re just not trying hard enough.  All directors should be looking around their board table asking themselves – how diverse is this group of people and am I putting this organisation in the best possible position for the future with those present?'

[Sources: Australian Institute of Company Directors media release 08/03/2018; Quarterly Gender Diversity Report 08/03/2018


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