Rush to appoint more women to boards

by 12 Aug 2010

A record number of women have been appointed to ASX 200 boards in 2010 as companies rush to appoint more women to their boards before gender reporting requirements start next year.

So far this year, 31 women have been appointed to ASX 200 boards, more than triple the number in 2009. Twenty-seven per cent of all ASX 200 board appointees this year have been female, compared to just 5 per cent in 2009 and 8 per cent in 2007 and 2008, the latest figures released by the Australian Institute of Company Directors revealed.

The most recent appointments this month were: Tina McMeckan at SP AusNet, Jennifer Tait at Alesco Corporation, and Yasmin Allen at Cochlear Ltd. In July, Telstra, Westfarmers, Sundance Resources and May Group also made female Board appointments.

These appointments have seen the percentage of women on ASX 200 boards increase to 9.8 per cent, up significantly from 8.3 per cent at the beginning of this year.

“As far as we are aware, the 9.8 per cent figure recorded this week for the proportion of women on ASX 200 boards is the highest the percentage has ever been in Australia” said the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, John Colvin.

“We have already seen this year more than three times the number of women appointed than for the whole of the 2009 calendar year.”

“This, and the fact that 27 per cent of board appointments this year have been women, shows that real progress is being made on this important issue.”

“However, despite this welcome increase, we still have a long way to go.”

“As we have consistently said, the proportion of women on listed company boards in Australia is not good enough and needs to be increased.”

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