Feels like we only go backwards: ASX board diversity falling

Feels like we only go backwards: ASX board diversity falling

The push to get more women on ASX 200 boards has hit a roadblock with rates of female appointments falling according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

The AICD's latest Gender Diversity Quarterly Report notes women now represent 29.5 per cent of directors on ASX 200 boards, down from 29.7 per cent in July.

In comparison, AICD's board comprises 45.5 per cent women, or five of its 11 members.

At the beginning of the year gender diversity on ASX 200 boards was at an all-time high, with nearly 30 per cent of all board positions filled by women.

What is most damning is how the rate at which women are being appointed has also fallen from 45 per cent in 2018 to 31.7 per cent now.

AICD CEO and managing director Angus Armour says these results should serve as a wakeup call to ASX 200 companies.

"Australia is not lacking for talented and experienced women, and the profile of female directors being appointed to their first ASX 200 boards over the past two years is evidence of this," says Armour.

"Boards struggling with gender diversity must challenge themselves and make commitments to do better. They should reflect on whether their search processes are effective and competitive enough to access the large talent pool of female directors in Australia, including whether their recruitment firms are helping them to eliminate any bias and to identify a diverse pool of candidates."

The number of male-only boards has also increased to seven. The companies with male-only boards are TPG Telecom, HUB24, NRW Holdings, Pro Medicus, Polynovo, Silver Lake Resources, and Speedcast International.

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