Road Map for Gender Diversity
The WOB challenge follows the results of the 2008 EOWA Leadership Census, showing a 1.3 per cent decline in female senior executives to 10.7 per cent and a 0.3 per cent decline in the numbers of women on top ASX200 boards since 2006 to 8.3 per cent.
“These statistics highlight the urgent need for practical strategies that address impediments to women achieving leadership roles,” WOB directors said.
It has launched the WOB Road Map for Gender Diversity, featuring simple interventions that company chairs can implement to address the deficit of women.
“Chairs play the key role in determining board makeup and can make diversity a high priority for their board and the company,” WOB Directors said.
“There are increasingly stronger arguments for chairs, directors and companies to pay diversity the same level of attention as financial and other matters receive.”
“This has been further strengthened by revelations of the poor practices which have led to recent turmoil on global markets.”
“Including a more diverse range of professionals in the decision making process would seem an intelligent approach for a forward-looking company.”
WOB Directors said that research shows that improving the gender balance on boards has a flow on effect of increasing numbers of women corporate officers, improving corporate governance, raising productivity and boosting business outcomes.
“WOB has also written to chairs and deputy chairs of ASX companies urging them to look beyond their traditional networks when making their next board appointment and offering to search our database of 6,000 current and emerging female leaders.”
“We have any number of women with the required skills and experience seeking executive and director roles, who just need to need to get on the board radar.”
Australia is a poor OEDC performer in relation to gender diversity on boards, compared with The European Union (11 %), Canada (13 %) and the USA (14.8 %).
Contacts for Interviews
Claire Braund, Director WOB on 0409 981 781
Ruth Medd, Director WOB on 0419 407 231