Tabcorp, Boral among four companies named and shamed by NSW Treasurer Matt Kean

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NSW Treasurer Matt Kean wants more women on boards ASAP. Source: AAP/Joel Carrett.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has scolded Tabcorp, Boral, Premier Investments, and Goodman Group in an address where he urged publicly-listed companies to get more women on their boards.

Kean says as of November 20, 2021, women represented just 29% of board members for companies on the ASX — meaning there’s double the number of men in the room compared to women.

“The time for talk is over. Women make up half our population and should make up half our boardrooms,” Kean says.

He continued that gender-balanced organisations “make bottom-line business sense when it comes to productivity and profitability”.

“I’m calling on listed companies to set KPIs, be transparent and take proactive steps to increase female leadership across their organisation.”

In response, a Tabcorp spokesperson pointed out the company was named an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the past seven years.

However, the spokesperson continued, “We recognise we must continue to drive this at senior ranks, including at a board level”.

Tabcorp will demerge brands Lotteries and Keno in June — and the spokesperson tells SmartCompany both boards will have more women in line with its WGEA commitment of 40% female representation at the non-executive director level.

“The Lottery Corporation will also have a female CEO — our current Managing Director Lotteries & Keno, Sue Van der Merwe,” the spokesperson added.

A spokesperson from Goodman says the company recently appointed New York-based real estate executive Hilary Spann to its board, with another overseas female appointment in the works.

It’ll take the number of females to 30% of the overall board, the Goodman spokesperson told SmartCompany.

“Diversity in all its forms is important to creating a team that understands and can respond to the opportunities and challenges of our global business,” the spokesperson continued.

“That’s why Goodman seeks to ensure we have the appropriate mix of skills, gender and geographic representation on our board.”

The treasurer says companies should look to trailblazers like Woolworths and Blackmores, where the majority of the boards are women, continuing that “it’s time everyone else caught up”.

He also applauded the not-for-profit sector, in which women make up 40.4% of boards (as of 2020).

Kean’s comments come as he prepares for his first budget in June, which will be shaped around women — including upping the number of females in leadership positions across the state.

To this end, he appointed a women’s economic expert panel, saying the role of females will be key to NSW’s pandemic recovery.

As part of its landmark review, the panel will look at policies to narrow the gender pay gap and make childcare more accessible and affordable.

Boral and Premier Investments did not respond when contacted for comment.

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