Cultural Diversity Next Frontier in Australia’s Boardrooms


Women on Boards has used the 10th anniversary of its biennial Boardroom Gender Diversity Index to push for greater cultural diversity in Australian boardrooms.


Claire Braund, Executive Director of Women on Boards said that research by the newly formed WOB Cultural Diversity Working Group revealed that 5.2% of board positions in the ASX200 are held by men or women of non-Anglo origin – with just 1.8% held by non-Anglo women.

“The statistics in the top end of the Not-For-Profit sector are only marginally better. Just 9% of board positions on NSW NFPs with revenues of $50M+ are held by men or women of non-Anglo origin,” Braund said.

“This very low representation of culturally diverse men and women on boards is the next frontier in our boardrooms and a key reason we have been delighted establish the working group, following a request from one of our members.”

Ms Braund said WOB would be looking to increase the influence of its culturally diverse women within the influential network and on the committee.

“We need to do exactly as we have done to increase the number of women on boards from single digit figures in the mid 2000’s  – research and publish the data, raise awareness, support culturally diverse candidates to get on the radar of boards and enable organisations set up transparent nomination and recruitment processes,” Braund said.

“It isn’t rocket science. Measure, manage and take action.”

Click here for more information on the Cultural Diversity Working Group

For Interviews

Boardroom Gender Diversity Index & Women on Boards - Claire Braund, 0409 981781
Cultural Diversity Index, Ruth Medd 0419 407 231

ASX 200

Number of Directors on ASX200
(prior to June 2020)
% of Total Directors on ASX200
(rounded to nearest .1%)
Men of Anglo Origin 983 64.7%
Men of Non-Anglo Origin 51 3.4%
Women of Anglo Origin    457 30.1%
Women of Non-Anglo Origin 28 1.8%
Total 1,519 100%
Data for number of directors includes managing directors and company secretaries so total director numbers are higher than in the ASX200 in the 2020 Boardroom Gender Diversity Index.

NSW Not for Profits with revenues of $50M+

Category Number of Board Members % of Total Board Members
Anglo Men 607 57%
Non-Anglo Men 61 6%
Anglo Women 369 34%
Non-Anglo Women 35 3%
Total 1072 100%
Data for the Not for Proft sector was sourced from the ACNC 2018 Annual information Statement ( NSW charities with revenues of $50M+ were included.

NSW Not for Profits with revenues of $10-$20M

Category Number of Board Members % of Total Board Members
Anglo Men 697 56.5%
Non-Anglo Men 74 6%
Anglo Women 404 32.7%
Non-Anglo Women 59 4.8%
Total 1,234 100%
For the purpose of this study NFPs whose main activity was one of the following were excluded:  Aged Care, Primary & Secondary Education and Religious Activities.  These activities were excluded on the premise that cultural diversity is lacking in these sectors and this was demonstrated through the data collected for the $50M+ charities.
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