A critical element of Board effectiveness is diverse and equitable composition.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) September-December 2018 Progress Report announced that as at December 31, 2018 women accounted for 29.7% of all ASX200 board positions. This marked an increase of over 10 percentage points since 2015 when the AICD called for ASX200 companies to achieve 30% women on boards by the end of 2018. By May 2018 the ASX20, 50 and 100 had reached the 30% target.
AICD Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Angus Armour said that Australia is the first country in the world to achieve 30% gender diversity in top 100 boardrooms without regulatory intervention or quotas.
“We were buoyed by the enthusiastic response we received from the director community who embraced the voluntary target, understanding the benefits diversity brings to good governance and as such, pursued better gender balance for their boards,” he said.
“At the start of the target period, the number of ASX200 boards with 30% female representation was 40. This figure has more than doubled to 96, and those with no women has decreased from 26 to only four.
“Of course 30% remains the floor and not the ceiling for gender diversity. We intend to continue advocating for gender parity on Australian boards.”
The WiT Board ReadinessTM Program aims to address these issues by building the calibre of candidates available for Board selection. Participants are equipped with the skills required to become highly effective Board members and provided with the opportunity to showcase these skills to some of Queensland's highest profile organisations. The program is designed for women who have the desire to apply their personal and professional skills to becoming a successful Board Director.
The WiT Board ReadinessTM Program incorporates elements from other first class programs with a session presented by the Australian Institute for Company Directors (AICD). The program culminates with an industry lunch to introduce program graduates into the business community.
Although there a number of programs promoting the importance of Board diversity and promoting redressing of the gender imbalance at Board level, WiT’s program offers a unique and broad ranging mix of practical advice and opportunities for networking. The program is also unique in its recognition of the importance of technology skills at Board level.
A key part of the program is an invitation only Industry Luncheon attended by senior executives, Board Directors and senior representatives from the Queensland Government. The aim of the luncheon is to provide the participants in the program with an opportunity to meet and network with members of boards and senior executives across the corporate, government owned and not-for-profit sectors.
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