Fewer women does not bode well for Australian business
14 February 2008
Women on Boards has released its latest research into the composition of the boards of the top 200 Australian and New Zealand companies.
WOB found that the percentage of women on boards of top 200 companies has dropped from 8.6 per cent as at August 2006 to eight per cent as at December 2007.
In that time 15 companies joined the top 200, either through growth or Initial Public Offerings. Companies left the top 200 by being overtaken by other companies or by delisting.
The percentage of women on boards in the top 200 companies, excluding new companies, was unchanged at 8.6% but dropped to 8.0 per cent when new entrants were included.
Half of the new companies were resource and resource services companies and had only 7.2 per cent of female directors
Ruth Medd, Chair of Women on Boards, said this does not bode well for the future participation of women in Australian business.
“It makes it more urgent than ever to focus on improving women's participation in the resources and allied services sectors.”
Large NZ domiciled companies listed in Australia have 14.5 per cent female directors with all of them having at least one woman on the board.
The percentage of companies without a female director in the top 100 and top 200 in Australia is unchanged at 25 and 50 per cent respectively.
“This means that half of the top 200 publicly listed Australian companies still do not have even one female director,” Ms Medd said.
For the first time Women on Boards looked at comparisons between States. Victoria and South Australia fared best with 43 per cent of companies not having a female director. Queensland and Western Australia were the worst performing states with nearly 70 per cent of companies not having a female director.
State No. of companies No. without a female director % without a female director:
|State||No. of companies||No. without a female director||% without a female director|
Ms Medd said the importance of achieving diversity on boards was greater than ever and a concerted effort was required to address this critical issue.
Women on Boards will host the 1st National Diversity on Boards Conference, in Sydney on 28 & 29 May. Details are at www.womenonboards.org.au/events/diversity2008/index.htm
For interviews, comments or a copy of the date contact Claire Braund on 02 4369 6006.
Women on Boards subscribers can access the data in the Publications for Subscribers section on the website: http://www.womenonboards.org.au/pubs/pubs_subscribe/