30% club set to launch in Australia

Target set for number of females appointed to ASX 200 boards.

The 30% Club, is set to formally launch in Australia on Tuesday, with the nation’s most influential company directors spearheading a campaign to achieve 30 per cent female representation on ASX 200 boards by 2018.

Chairs and Directors of a substantial majority of the top ASX 30 have already pledged their commitment to the target in a series of informal discussions, as well as their willingness to assist other Chairs in reaching the target. The initiative has been resoundingly endorsed by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors in their recent announcements to achieve 30% women on ASX-200 women boards by 2018 and 2017 respectively.

Since the 30% Club was founded in the UK in 2010 by a group of UK Chairs facilitated by Helena Morrissey, CEO Newton Investment Management, the proportion of women on FTSE-100 boards has increased from 12.5 to 23 per cent. While much remains to be done, this success in the UK has prompted countries across the globe including the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand to join and set challenging gender targets.

The CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors John Brogden, Helena Morrissey, along with the Chairs and non-executive directors of some of Australia’s leading companies will help launch the initiative in Melbourne and Sydney this week.

Patricia Cross, Chair of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and non-executive director of Macquarie Group and the UK-based Aviva plc, said: “The 30% Club is a business-led initiative founded on the understanding that meaningful and sustainable change can only be had with senior business leaders committed to the development and encouragement of a pipeline of female talent. The launch of the 30% Club combined with the AICD’s and the ACSI’s ground-breaking commitment to the 30% target is an exciting step forward for corporate Australia.”

David Gonski, Chair of ANZ and Coca-Cola Amatil said: “Diversity is vital to a proper functioning board of directors as it does not make sense to limit a board to a pool of talent that only makes up 50 per cent of the population. 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.”

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Phoebe O’Sullivan: Media Relations Officer, ANZ. Tel: +61 3 8655 5774 / +61 400 963 062. Email: phoebe.o’sullivan@anz.com