The Australian Institute of Company Directors has credited its scholarship program and other initiatives with driving this year’s better board diversity in ASX200 companies. So far in 2010, 51 women have been appointed to boards, compared to just 10 in 2009. AICD CEO John Colvin branded the fivefold boost a significant gain but said more progress must be made. AICD one year ago had unveiled a range of initiatives designed to boost diversity on top company boards, Colvin said. “We felt the proportion of women on major company boards was not good enough and needed to be increased. We believed we had to take a leadership role on this issue. We wrote to all chairmen of ASX 200 companies outlining our initiatives, seeking their support in achieving greater representation for women on boards and in senior executive ranks,” he said. “We also began work on practical programs we believed would make a difference – which are all now up and running. We are certainly not taking all the credit, but there is no doubt improvement is occurring and we hope our efforts, and those of other organisations, are helping to achieve that. More needs to be done, but progress to date is very heartening.” AICD discussed the progress of its initiatives and acknowledged the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s principles and recommendations that required companies to set objectives for gender diversity. All ASX-listed entities would now be required to establish diversity policies and disclose them on an ‘if not, why not’ basis. The policies must include measurable objectives for achieving gender diversity and annual assessments of the goals and what had been achieved.
Source: Discrimination Alert, 26 November 2010.
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