Figures show more women are joining ASX 200 boards, but the index just got a new all-male group

Foreign investment framework changes board chairs startup shares all-male

Just when we thought all-male boards on the ASX 200 were a thing of the past, another has joined the club of Australia’s largest listed entities.

That board is AVZ Minerals Ltd, and it’s killed off the index’s all-male board free zone across the 200, which was finally achieved in August 2021.

But there is more positive news in the latest report from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with 53% of women non-executive directors appointed over the past year joining listed boards for the first time.

It’s a figure that shows fresh talent is coming onto these boards, especially given concerns in the past that the same group of women were being appointed to boards over and over again.

As Louise Petschler, the AICD’s GM of governance and policy leadership said on the findings, the shift reflects “the positive efforts of boards to look beyond known names and networks, to engage new talent.”

The latest report also highlights a rise in women on the boards of ASX 200 companies (up to 34.7%) and ASX 300 companies (up to 33.6%) — and it notes a major milestone reached across ASX companies ranked from 201 to 300 on the index, with this group passing the 30% women on boards mark for the first time.

However, there are still 53 boards across the ASX 300 with one of no women at all. And only 182 of these 300 boards have reached the 30% target for women on boards.

As for that one lone all-male board now on the ASX 200, AVZ Minerals was admitted to the top 200 on March 21 this year, due to its March quarterly review. There are no women on its board or its executive team, according to its website.

Silver Lake Resources once held the dubious honour of being a sole male-only board on the ASX 200, until it appointed a woman (and it still only has one woman on the board).

Other notable mentions go to AMP, which became a female-free board zone back in 2019. It’s had a strong turnaround, now boasting the rare record of having a female chair and female CEO.

This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.

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