Gender diversity still a pipe dream: ASX report

by John Maguire27 May 2016
A new report by KPMG for the ASX Corporate Governance Council has revealed that true gender diversity in business remains a long away off in Australia.

The report observed nearly 600 entities in Australia during 2015. It divided these entities into three main categories: S&P/ASX 200 (197 entities); ASX 201–500 by market capitalisation (200 entities); and ASX 501+ by market capitalisation (200 entities).

Among the most telling results is that among the top 200 companies, just 22 percent had female board members. Just one of these (Medibank) had a majority of females on its board.
 
The report also showed that in 2016, just 5 percent of CEOs and 10 percent of COOs were women. Women made up just 6 percent of CFOs.

The research shows that most Australian companies have a gender diversity policy, but that some companies report “progress” for appearance's sake only. The report also points out that the vagueness of the language of these policies makes it difficult for genuine progress in terms of gender diversity to be measured.

The report said, “There continued to be a number of entities reporting more 'aspirational' objectives such as 'achieving a culture of inclusion', making it difficult for these entities to measure progress against their objectives both now and in future years."
 
Also among the key findings was that bigger companies achieve more in the way of gender equality than smaller ones.

 

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