Female board appointments stall for ASX 200 companies

Written on the 23 April 2019 by Business News Australia

Female board appointments stall for ASX 200 companies

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) has called the failure to reach an equality target "disappointing" with fewer than expected females appointed to ASX 200 boards in 2019.

AICD today released the latest gender diversity statistics of Australia's ASX 200 companies, and progress appears to have stalled.

Female directors account for 29.5 per cent of all ASX 200 board positions as at 31 March 2019, with the year to date appointment rate of women sitting at 23 per cent.

AICD managing director and CEO Angus Armour says he is disappointed with the failure to hit the target for the year so far.

"At the beginning of this year we expected to achieve our 30 per cent target imminently, but unfortunately the overall percentage has fallen since the start of this year," says Armour.

"I challenge all boards to look around their boardroom and ask if there is sufficient diversity of skills, experience and gender to effectively meet the demands of a challenging governance landscape."

Of the ASX 200 companies there are still four with no women on their boards, and 50 companies with only one female board member.

"Far too many companies appear to think that diversity stops after the appointment of one woman," says Armour.

"Diverse boards help prevent group-think, leading to better outcomes for shareholders, consumers, employees and the community. They promote greater innovation and improved bottom lines."

The four ASX 200 companies with no women on their boards are HUB24 (ASX: HUB), ARB Corporation (ASX: ARB), Emeco (ASX: EHL), and TPG Telecom (ASX: TPM).

"Many of the issues are outside the largest listed companies. The ASX 20 and the ASX 50 have been doing the heavy lifting for the rest of the index. We know from analysing the data that as you move further down the index the percentage of female directors falls precipitately," says Armour.

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