- 18.2 percent of directorships are held by women
- 18 per cent (8) do not have a woman on their board
- 27 per cent (13) have 25 percent or more of directorships held by women
Australia's 44 Cooperative Research Centres are funded jointly by the Federal Government, industry and other commercial and research partners. A CRC is an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, formed through collaborative partnerships between publicly funded researchers and end users. CRCs must comprise at least one Australian end-user (either from the private, public or community sector) and one Australian higher education institution (or research institute affiliated with a university).
The CRC Program commenced in 1991. To date 186 CRCs have been funded by the Australian Government at a cost of $3.3 billion in program funding. Partners in CRCs have committed a further $10.8 billion in cash and in-kind contributions.
In March 2012 there were 44 CRCs operating in four ANZSIC sectors:
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (11)
- Manufacturing (5)
- Mining (4)
- Services (24)
There were 352 directors serving on the boards of CRCs in 2012 of which 64 were women. This is slightly fewer than in 2011, when there were two more CRCs.
Historically CRCs have been relatively difficult for women as the boards are usually comprised of the individual or organisational representatives who drive the successful bid to establish the CRC. However the boards of CRCs are becoming more professional and some now include independent paid directors. As a major funder the Australian government should consider adopting board diversity policies consistent with those for federal government boards generally.
The good guys
In 2012 there are five CRCs with a minimum of 40 per cent female directors. They are listed below with the names of the chairs and percentage of female directors.
- CRC for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Ms Pat Anderson, 71.4%
- CRC for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing Mr Mark Menta, 44.4%
- Invasive Animals CRC, Ms Helen Cathles, 42.9%
- The Vision CRC, Prof Klaus Schindhelm, 42.9%
- CRC for Remote Economic Participation, Mr Paul Wand, 40.0%
In 2012 there were eight CRCs with no women on their boards. They are listed below with the names of the Chairs.
- Advanced Manufacturing CRC, Dr David Charles
- CRC for Biomarker Translation, Mr Melvyn John Bridges
- CRC for Infrastructure and Engineering Asset Management, Mr Edward Scott AM
- CRC for Mental Health, The Hon. Dr Michael Wooldridge
- CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction, Mr Jon Loraine
- CRC for Polymers, Dr Peter Coldrey
- Deep Exploration Technologies CRC, Dr Tom Whiting
- Environmental Biotechnology CRC, Mr Mack Williams
About the data
Data for the 2012 Boardroom Diversity Index comprises information on Australia's 44 Cooperative Research Centres. The data was collected from publicly available sources in February 2012 and reference checked by direct contact where possible. Two, the CRC for Advanced Composite Structures and the Oral Health CRC, did not reply to our inquiries.