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Opinion by Neil Griffiths - March 7, 2022

‘More needs to be done’ to address gender imbalance in Australian companies

International Women’s Day shines light on the board seat gender gap.

The number of women on boards is continuing to rise but more needs to be done to improve gender diversity, according to new data.

New research conducted by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) shows that women make up only 9.5 per cent of board chair roles and 6.5 per cent of CEOs across the ASX200.

Women currently account for over 36 per cent of board seats in the ASX 50 and nearly 35 per cent of seats in the ASX 200. While every ASX 200 company now have women directors on the boards, seven ASX 300 laggard companies are without a woman on their boards and three have never appointed a woman director.

With a gender balanced target of 40 per cent women in place, ACSI CEO Louise Davidson said there is still ways to go and more needs to be done to address the gender imbalance.

“While it is encouraging that the number of women on boards continues to rise, more needs to be done to boost the number of female chairs and CEOs. And we expect those boards without any women at all to remedy the imbalance,” Ms Davidson said.

“More board diversity improves governance standards at companies and is strongly linked to long-term shareholder value.

“Recent examples of sexual harassment at some of Australia’s largest companies reinforce the importance of board and executive accountability when it comes creating a safe workplace and promoting gender equality.”

This article originally featured in Investor Daily