The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has written to the "more than 30" companies listed on the ASX 200 with zero women on their boards to raise awareness about gender diversity in corporate Australia.
ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson said a 30 per cent target for female representation on boards is "fast becoming seen as the minimum benchmark in corporate Australia".
"We are seeking tangible commitments and evidence from these companies that they have strategies for achieving gender diversity at board level in the near term, rather than the sometimes surprisingly vague statements often made to comply with ASX Corporate Governance Principles," Ms Davidson said.
"It is now almost five years since ACSI first began urging Australian companies to seriously appraise the gender make-up of their boards, which means our members have been the very definition of ‘patient capital’."
"They may not remain that way on this subject," Ms Davidson said.
In February 2015, ACSI formally launched its policy aimed at increasing the representation of women on the boards of ASX 200 companies to at least 30 per cent of all directors by the end of 2017.
"So far in 2015, women represent barely more than one director appointment in every four to ASX 200 boards," a statement from ACSI said.
"This implies that, at best, it will be well into next decade that the 30 per cent level is achieved – and even that assumes a higher attrition rate of male than female directors.
"As ACSI prepares voting advice for its 37 Australian and international members, who collectively speak for an average 10 per cent of the votes in ASX 200 companies, it will be reviewing the progress and commitments of boards towards increasing the number of women directors," it said.
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