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Women on Boards evaluated 1422 organisations from more than 10 sectors in its 2015 edition of the Boardroom Diversity Index.
Superannuation, sport, the ASX100 and Cooperative Research Centres were the only areas where gains of more than five per cent in the number of women on boards were made in 2015.
While these sectors stood out for the greatest gains, there were encouraging trends in all areas – except the Federal, Queensland and Western Australian Governments, where the coalition was in power in all instances.
Queensland posted the biggest loss of -13.6% in the number of women serving on the boards of state owned corporations, followed by Western Australia with -3.2% and Rural Research and Development Corporations at -2.0%.
While the 91 significant Federal Government boards included in the research only posted a loss of -0.6%, the 2014 Australian Government Gender Balance on Boards Report (not compiled by WoB) showed the number of female board members down by two per cent on the previous year across 387 government boards.
The research revealed gender balance on governing bodies of universities, National Sporting Organisations, affordable housing companies, Medicare Locals, State Health Services (NSW, Vic and Qld) and State Owned Corporations in NSW, Victoria and South Australia is above 30 per cent.
Listed companies beyond the ASX100 still had some way to go, noting there were 81 companies in the ASX300 without a woman on their board.
Five companies in the ASX100 - TPG Telecom, Ramsay Healthcare, Qube Holdings, Sirtex Medical and Domino’s Pizza Enterprises – remainded without a woman on their board.
“These companies are bucking the trend when it comes to other ASX100 companies who have steadily increased the number of women on boards to be in reach of a 25% target by 2016.”
“While this is clearly a long way short of the desired 40 per cent, it is moderate progress that we trust will continue.”
Ms Braund said Women on Boards has been focussed on the superannuation sector over the past year in terms of moving women onto boards and was pleased to see gains being made following stagnation in the 2013 index.
Of the 135 Superannuation Trusts measured for this year’s index, 254 of the 955 trustees were female (26.6%) – a rise of 5.7% on the 2013 index.