Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has set gender quotas for appointments to government boards — meaning that board appointments in the state must be at least 50 per cent women. His announcement of the move follows the release earlier this month of Women on Boards’ 2015 Boardroom Diversity Index — the results of which were nothing short of staggering, as UN Women director Julie McKay writes for Mamamia today.
Imagine if rather than celebrating the companies that have appointed one woman to their board as a marker of progress towards gender equality, we were recognising companies for reaching gender parity.
Imagine if rather than celebrating when a company sets a 25 percent target for women in leadership, we were celebrating the companies who had committed to reaching gender parity within five years.
This month, Women on Boards released its 2015 Boardroom Diversity Index and to be honest, the results are staggering.
Despite slow progress, out of the ASX300, 81 companies still have no women on their boards. In the ASX100, there are five ‘stag’ companies.
It simply isn’t good enough. And for me, it is time that we had a conversation about how to drive change, when awareness raising and good intention simply isn’t resulting the changes necessary.
Why are women on boards important?
There is significant evidence that diverse boards are more effective and have stronger financial performance. Credit Suisse’s Gender Diversity and Corporate Performance report (2013) found that companies with more than one woman had delivered on average, higher returns, lower gearing and better average growth over the last six years.