A report has found there is still a long way to gender parity on ASX 200 boards despite a recent improvement in female representation.
According to Financy’s Women’s Index September 2018 report, women now occupy 28.5 per cent of ASX 200 board positions, up from 27.7 per cent in June.
Financy said a key target from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) to achieve 30 per cent female board representation for the ASX 200 by the end of this year is very close but remains uncertain.
“Based on the current rate of progress in board appointments for the Top 200, we would expect a further one percentage point gain by the end of December. This would put female board representation at 29.5 per cent – just shy of the key target,” the report said.
The AICD's target and quarterly reporting of board representation has been effective and influential in the three years since reporting began, Financy said.
In September 2015, the number of women on ASX 200 boards was 20.6 per cent and in 2012 the number was 10.9 per cent.
"Indeed if this trend persisted and female board representation improved by approximately 3 percentage points a year, a 50/50 gender balance for the ASX 200 could be realised as early as 2026," the report said.
“Continued support and focus on the AICD target, together with education around the benefits of gender diversity, potential sponsorship for women directors, improved and transparent board recruitment processes could greatly assist in growing the number of women occupying board positions."
OneVue managing director Connie McKeage said while there needs to be continued discussion on important issues like inclusion and gender balance around board room tables and management, there also needs to be increased activity around these matters.
“We need sustainable change and Financy’s Women’s Index is one of the levers we can rely on to provide facts to support our calls to action," Ms McKeage said.
"Every step forward we take as organisations that care, no matter how small those steps may seem at the time, can contribute to creating a better more balanced future.”
The research was provided from the latest Gender Diversity Progress Report by the AICD.