The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) has just released its quarterly report on gender equality progress in the ASX 200. How does your employer rank?
Almost twelve months ago the AICD called for all boards to ensure at least 30 percent of their directors are female and urged S&P/ASX 200 companies to meet this target by the end of 2018.
In its December 2015 – February 2016 gender diversity quarterly report, the AICD found that as of the end of February, 45 ASX 200 companies had met the 30 percent target. Medibank Private Limited is the only ASX 200 company where more than 50% of the directors are female – five female directors are 62.5% of the board. Mirvac Limited has the next highest ratio of female directors at 50 percent.
Companies to join the 30 Percent Club this quarter include National Australia Bank, Spotless Group Holdings and Woodside Petroleum.
Unfortunately, there are still 21 companies in the ASX 200 without any female directors, particularly in the resources sector. This figure decreased by seven from the previous quarter. The list of companies without any female directors includes Austal Limited, Northern Star Limited and TPG Telecom Limited.
28 companies still need two or more female directors to meet the 30 percent target, and 106 companies require one more female director to meet the target.
The progress seen in the first year of this gender diversity initiative has been respectable, but there is still a lot of work to be done for all boards to meet the 30 percent target by 2018. Crucially, the appointment rate for female directors must be at least 40 percent. At the end of 2015 the appointment rate was 34 percent, but spiked to 43 percent in February.
The AICD intends to engage with Chairs to communicate the importance of board diversity and to support Chairs in their endeavours to increase the number of female directors. The AICD will also increase their engagement with the investment and executive search community, ensuring investors are asking Chairs diversity questions.
How is your ASX 200 company or employer furthering gender diversity in the workplace?