ACSI welcomes gender diversity milestone on ASX200 boards

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors welcomes the milestone achieved this week that sees women holding directorships on every board at Australia’s top 200 companies.

This follows the appointments of woman directors to Silver Lake Resources and Chalice Mining.

ACSI welcomes this news and has long championed gender diversity on boards to ensure that they have access to the deepest possible pool for qualified and experienced director talent.

The evidence that more diverse boards are better performing is supported by research that shows companies with one or more female board directors outperforms those with none.

In 2010, when ACSI began its efforts to improve board gender diversity, only 8% of ASX200 director seats were occupied by women. In 2015, when ACSI set 30% as a minimum objective, there were 34 companies in the ASX200 without a woman director.

This week, 126 companies in the ASX200 have 30% or more women on their boards, with an average of 34% women. Women now comprise more than half of directors on the boards of 15 companies in the ASX200.

The progress demonstrates the benefit of investors, boards and others working together. ACSI strongly supports the 30 per cent Club in Australia and works with other industry bodies and groups to promote gender diversity on boards.

ACSI CEO Louise Davidson applauded this week’s historic moment.

“It is a welcome milestone to see that all ASX200 companies now have at least one woman on their boards,” she said.

“The benefits of having more women in governance roles are well established and are being clearly recognised in boardrooms around Australia.

“More diverse boards make for better governed companies, which is intrinsically linked to long-term shareholder value.

“It’s important that we maintain the momentum for change and continue to increase both the number of women, and diversity of experience on boards.

“There is more work to be done to achieve gender balance, which we define as a minimum of 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and 20 per cent unallocated to allow flexibility for board renewal. Listed companies should set a time frame within which they will achieve gender balance on their boards.”

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