The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors has lambasted Australia's top 200 companies for the lack of female representation on their boards.
ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson has questioned Australian listed companies’ efforts to improve the gender diversity of their boards.
Speaking to InvestorDaily, Ms Davidson rejected the “same old excuse” that boards are not able to find women of merit to appoint.
“We believe there are many well qualified women ready to take on directorships,” she said.
Ms Davidson made the comments on International Women’s Day, which she said celebrated “women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements”.
However, she told InvestorDaily that the responsibility for raising the topic of gender equality does not just fall onto women.
“As investors, we have been having this conversation with company boards for years,” said the ACSI chief executive.
“My question to companies is, ‘What message does your board’s composition send about your attitude to gender equality?’”
In a statement released today by ACSI, Ms Davidson said the rate of change on boards has been “disappointingly slow”, pointing to the more than one-quarter of ASX200 companies that still only have one woman on their board – and the less than half (76) of companies that are hitting the 30 per cent target.
Only nine women are chief executives of ASX200 companies this year, a figure unchanged from 2015.
“One women director does not equate to gender diversity,” Ms Davidson said.
“We expect all boards to put in place clear targets for gender diversity, including a timeframe for achieving those targets.”
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