Female representation on the boards of ASX200 companies are inching closer to the target of 30 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) has released its latest quarterly 30% by 2018: Gender diversity progress report.
As of 31 August 2018, the percentage of females on ASX200 boards rose to 28.5 per cent (57 ASX200 companies), up from 20.6 per cent in August 2015.
The ASX100 has already reached the target of 30 per cent representation of women on boards.
Over the same period, the number of ASX200 company boards without women fell 90 per cent – from 30 to three.
“When I reflect back to when we launched the program in 2010, female representation on ASX 200 boards was sitting at a mere 8.3 per cent,” AICD chair Elizabeth Proust wrote in the report.
She added that “there were a number of naysayers” when AICD announced their target of 30 per cent by the end of 2018.
“Some argued that we shouldn’t have set a target in the first place while others argued that it could never be achieved with a voluntary framework and legislated intervention was required immediately.
“My view is that our results have proved the doubters wrong,” Ms Proust said.
This year, the appointment rate of women to ASX200 boards rose to 50 per cent where it had only been 36 per cent last year, proving that voluntary targets were effective, she argued.
However, 30% Club chair Nicola Wakefield Evans and AICD board diversity manager Naomi Menahem cautioned against becoming complacent about nearing the target.
“As we move towards the end of 2018, the deadline for reaching our target, the question arises as to what’s next? The fear is that when we will reach 30 per cent apathy will set in,” they said in the report.
The 30% Club will continue to work with the industry and the government to see greater gender representation on company boards, they said.
“Much more work needs to be done”: McKinsey
A report released by US-based management consulting firm McKinsey on Friday, titled Closing the gap: Leadership perspectives on promoting women in financial services, examined the representation of women in the executive level of financial services firms in the US.
“Women still represent fewer than one in five positions in the financial services C-suite. There is much work to be done to achieve gender parity in the financial services sector,” the report said.
The report showed that women who entered the company in entry-level roles had equal representation with men.
But gender representation was measured in higher-level roles, the number of women in vice president, senior vice president and c-suite roles markedly diminished while men in similar roles rose.
“In the financial services industry, women of colour represent one in five employees at entry levels, but they virtually disappear from representation at higher levels.
“Across the 39 financial services companies we surveyed, there are only 10 women of colour in C-suite roles today,” the report said.