There have been small, but encouraging, signs that the recent gains in the number of female directors on the boards of ASX200 companies are being matched in other key sectors in the economy, according to findings from the latest WOB Boardroom Diversity Index (BDI).
The BDI tracks the representation of women on the boards of 850 organisations across Australia on an annual basis. The data is current as of January 2012.
The 2012 index shows that sectors including superannuation, credit unions, health and sport have shown small increases in the percentage of women on the boards of their organisations in the past year.
Directors of Women on Boards, Claire Braund and Ruth Medd, said the 2012 BDI findings were encouraging and showed that organisations were paying attention to the issue of boardroom diversity.
However they cautioned there was still a lot of work to be done as there should be at least 40 percent of women on the boards of the majority of the organisations listed in the BDI.
“The number of organisations with more than 25 per cent women on their boards has increased and the number of those without a woman on their board has fallen, however it is still unacceptably high at 24 percent. These organisations are failing in their responsibilities to customers, shareholders and society,” Ms Braund said.
The sectors with the largest increases since 2011 are the ASX200 and the Australian Government. Those with the highest representation are the State Owned Corporations in Queensland and South Australia.
Women on Boards commended the Federal Government on its 40:40:20 targets for its boards and committees, saying this would improve governance, accountability and selection and appointment processes.
“Targets are a great way of requiring organisations to broaden their search parameters and selection criteria and go beyond those areas they have traditionally used to source directors,” Ms Braund said.