Claire Braund, Executive Director of Women on Boards, said that whilever you aim low the outcome will be predictable.
Ms Braund was responding to the AICD statement
(25 July 2019) that Australia's largest companies had not yet hit 30% women on boards.
"It's hardly surprising - aim for 30% and 29.7 will be close enough for many people
," Ms Braund said.
She went on to say that on the cusp of 2020 it is disappointing to see many leading business groups still advocating a conservative 30% target for women on boards. This is out of step with all Governments in all Australian states, the Australian Sports Commission, Australian superannuation industry and many other organisations who have set a minimum target of 40% and in some cases, 50% women.
Women on Boards has been a leading actor in the push to achieve gender balance on boards since 2005 - in 2009 setting targets of 40% women, 40% men and 20% either / and or other genders for boards across all sectors.
Ms Braund said that critical to a successful outcome is transparency and a robust director recruitment process that avoids simply going through the motions and then recruiting from your BBQ circle.
"The ASX200 in particular should be able to achieve 40% women with little real effort - as these boards are generally very well governed, well supported and have access to a pool of top quality director talent
The experience of our WOBSX director-led peer-to-peer support program
to move women into ASX boards roles has already shown that there are many women outside of the existing networks with the skills and capability to serve on ASX boards - however the challenge for them is 'getting on the radar of those who are looking.'
Ms Braund said more focus needed to be placed on companies outside the well - resourced ASX200 whose performance was largely woeful when it came to gender balanced boards.