30 Percent Club launches in Australia


30 per centGlobal gender diversity campaign, the 30 Percent Club has launched in Australia, with a number of influential company directors spearheading a campaign to achieve 30 per cent female representation on S&P/ASX 200 boards by 2018.

The 30 Percent Club was founded by a group of UK chairs facilitated by Helena Morrissey, chief executive officer (CEO) of Newton Investment Management in 2010. Since its inception, the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards has increased from 12.5 per cent to 23 per cent.

The initiative has been endorsed by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and was formally launched by Morrissey, AICD managing director and CEO, John Brogden and the chairs and non-executive directors of some of Australia’s leading companies.

The launch follows the AICD’s policy announcement earlier this year to increase the number of women on boards in Australia by setting a target of 30 per cent for all S&P/ASX 200 boards by the end of 2018.

Scarce representation of women at senior levels is a global problem and there has been a move by businesses throughout the world to create a paradigm shift. Australia is the latest in a number of OECD countries, including Hong Kong, the US, Ireland, Canada and South Africa, to launch the 30 Percent Club. New Zealand introduced a 25 per cent club in 2012.

Commenting on the launch, Patricia Cross FAICD, chair of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and non-executive director of Macquarie Group and UK-based Aviva, said: “The launch of the 30 Percent Club combined with the AICD’s and ACSI’s ground-breaking commitment to the 30 per cent target is an exciting step forward for corporate Australia.”

David Gonski AC FAICDLife, chair of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Coca-Cola Amatil, said: “We all have a leadership role to play and I hope this initiative motivates the business community to produce meaningful momentum on this important issue.”

More information about the 30 Per Cent Club can be found here.