At Company Directors we believe that we have a leadership role to play to improve board diversity both at home and internationally. As part of our commitment to board diversity, we have developed a range of initiatives to help achieve a greater representation of women on boards and in senior executive positions.
Since we began implementing these programs, Company Directors has become a centre of excellence on board diversity, highlighting the competitive advantage of diversity and advocating the selection of directors from a broad-based candidate pool.
We aim to increase board diversity both in the short-term and in the long-term through practical programs, policy and advocacy and engagement with key stakeholders.
Our actions to increase board diversity include:
ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations:Company Directors contributed to the development of the new ASX reporting regime on diversity, which came into effect on 1 January 2011.Two booklets were published that explain each of the new recommendations and provide tips for getting started and examples of organisations that have made a difference to the diversity of their organisations.
Early adopter case studies: This booklet provides case studies on five companies who have either already adopted the new diversity recommendations or are proposing to early adopt the new recommendations shortly. It also contains a sample diversity policy and strategy documents to assist entities with embedding diversity within the culture of their organisation.
Tips for getting started: This booklet explains the changes and provides some practical tips to help ASX- listed entities to get started on embedding diversity within the culture of their organisations;
Chairmen's Mentoring Program: bringing together senior listed company chairmen and emerging female directors. This has been our flagship Board Diversity Initiative and we are currently looking for mentees for our third round of this program;
Board Diversity Scholarship Program: jointly funded with the Federal Government to provide 70 education scholarships to board-ready women;
Diversity statistics: dedicated webpage providing real time data on ASX 200 board composition and female appointments;
Board Ready Program: aimed at supporting the 'pipeline' of highly skilled directors from diverse backgrounds;
Diversity publications: providing guidance on ASX CGC reporting principles on diversity and a comprehensive book on effective board composition and board appointments called Tomorrow's board - creating balanced and effective boards;
Directorship Opportunities: Australia's leading listing-service for board and advisory panel vacancies. This online service assists current and aspiring directors;
External reports and links: providing links to organisations that offer services relevant to diversity and women and up to date information on the current state of diversity nationally and internationally; and
An international perspective on board diversity: providing input to an internal perspective through our contribution to The Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI). The GNDI has released a joint policy perspective setting out the significant and positive impact a dvierse board can have on business outcomes.
State Divisions also coordinate their own state based diversity initiatives that support national Board Diversity Initiatives.
In addition to the above programs, our commitment to highlighting the value of board diversity and promoting talented emerging directors has been supported through strong media profiling and various diversity editorials.
Since commencing our Board Diversity Initiatives the number of women directors on the boards of the ASX 200 has significantly increased both as a percentage of total board members and as a percentage of new board appointments.