Much progress has been made around gender diversity on ASX company boards, however research shows that there is still work to be done.

A few statistics for 2022 show continuing progress*:

  • Women account for almost 45% of new director appointments to ASX200 boards in 2022.
  • Female directors make up 35.7% of ASX200 boards (34.9% for ASX300).
  • Women chair 39% of ASX300 board committees.
  • 141 ASX200 boards and 195 ASX300 boards have achieved the goal of 30% women (up from 89 and 109, respectively, in February 2019).

On the downside, however:

  • Boards with 30% women increased by just 11 in 2022, suggesting a slowing of progress.
  • There are still four ASX200 boards with no women directors at all.
  • Women account for only 10% of all ASX200 and ASX300 chair roles.

Regulators and other advisors encourage companies to improve female representation:

  • The ASX Corporate Governance Principles suggest that ASX300 companies should have not less than 30% representation of each gender on the board.
  • The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) suggests a 40:40:20 model of board gender diversity, with at least 40% women directors, as good practice.
  • Proxy advisor Glass Lewis expects a company with no formalised diversity policy, or elements thereof, to explain why on an ‘if not, why not’ basis. If it has a poor board diversity record or has not implemented these reporting provisions, Glass Lewis will consider recommending voting against the chair of the nomination committee or equivalent (e.g. board chair).
  • Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) expects a minimum of 30% female directors and will recommend votes against boards of ASX200 companies with poor gender diversity.


Next Section: Shareholder Activism


* Most metrics are from AICD, as at November 2022.