(Australian Associated Press)
Australia’s biggest companies are upping their game when it comes to appointing more women to seats at the boardroom table.
A new survey shows that for the first time, the number of top companies which have at least 30 per cent of their board members as women exceeds those with no women at all.
Just 22 of Australia’s top 200 stock market listed companies had no women on their boards by the end of February, down by a third since July 2015, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors found.
Women now comprise 22 per cent of all boards for ASX200 companies, up from 19 per cent previously.
Only two companies among the top 100 – Qube Holdings and TPG Telecom – still have no women directors.
“This is a tipping point in board gender diversity,” ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson said on Monday.
“Now that boards are getting the message, hopefully we will see a flow through impact to executive teams accessing the best possible talents by recruiting and promoting people from more diverse backgrounds.”
The increase in women directors comes after ACSI launched a campaign in 2015 to remind Australia’s biggest companies that 30 per cent was the minimum target for women on boards.
ACSI at the time targeted 30 companies including Cabcharge Australia and Kerry Stokes’s Seven Group, warning them that it would flex its voter muscle during annual general meeting season if changes weren’t made.
The advisory group’s campaign to improve the representation of women in senior business positions began six years ago when it launched the push for at least 30 per cent of all directors to be female by the end of 2017.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors also launched a call in 2015 for all boards to ensure that 30 per cent of directors were women.
ACSI said that so far in 2016, 19 women had been appointed to company boards.
A total of 65 were appointed last year.