MEDIA RELEASE: Continued pressure needed to achieve gender diversity on boards, Tuesday 20 September 2016

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

CONTINUED PRESSURE NEEDED TO ACHIEVE GENDER DIVERSITY ON BOARDS 

Today’s Gender Diversity Quarterly Report shows ASX 200 companies are broadly on track to meet the Australian Institute of Company Director’s target of 30 per cent female representation on boards by 2018.

The percentage of women on boards has risen to 23 per cent this year, up from 8 per cent in 2009. Over 40 per cent of new board appointments so far this year were women.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Women, Tanya Plibersek, said there is much more that needs to be done to secure the social, economic and strategic benefits of gender diversity on boards.

AICD’s report shows two more companies have joined the blacklist of all-male boards in the last quarter.

When AICD wrote to companies on the blacklist to ask them why they don’t appoint women, responses included “we don’t have to and we don’t want to” and “women talk too much and make the board meeting too long”.

“Attitudes like these show why it’s still important to set targets and hold business to account for reaching them,” said Ms Plibersek.

“The use of participant targets gives us something measurable to aim for and work towards.

“Cultural change is needed in organisations like these if we are to maintain the appointment rate of 38 per cent needed to meet the 2018 target. And once the 2018 target is met, we should stretch ourselves again by raising the bar.” 

“While 30 per cent is a step in the right direction we shouldn’t accept it as our final destination,” Ms Plibersek said.