Australia’s top 20 companies hit 40% women on board

Australia stock

Australia’s top 20 ranked companies made history this quarter (Q2 2023) achieving an aggregate 40 per cent women on their boards.

This success reflects the long-term efforts of chairs, boards, regulators, investors, executive search firms and campaigns like the 30% Club Australia that have ensured continued stakeholder scrutiny of appointments to listed boards.

Of course, the aggregate figures do not tell the whole story. Across the 759 directorships currently held by women in the ASX 300, an overwhelming number are non-executive directors (685) while just 37 are executive or managing directors including CEOs, and only 37 are chairs.

Read the full report to find out more about Australia’s progress toward gender equality in business leadership and 30% Club Australia’s work here

Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries

Views: Invisible factors give rise to persistent workplace inequality

Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts would not live up to their promise if we’re blind to the invisible factors that hold people back from fully participating in the economy, workplace and school. 

Yi-Ren Wang , Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Asia School of Business illustrates this in her op-ed, part of a series of thought leadership pieces, Equity, Equality & Prosperity, in collaboration with The Edge and the 30% Club Malaysia.

Read about it in The Edge ESG section here.

Gender balance almost achieved for ethnic minority directors

Diverse directors

Across the FTSE 350, the numbers of ethnic minority directors are currently balanced almost equally between men and women, with 48% being women (47% in the FTSE 100, 48% in the FTSE 250). 

The data emerged today from the latest update on the Parker Review – the business-led, UK government backed initiative that sets voluntary race equity targets for Britain PLC. 

The 30% Club is proud to support the Parker Review with our own targets for the FTSE 350 to have at least one ethnic minority director or member of the executive committee by the end of 2023 and for half of those newly created seats to go to women of colour.  

Today’s update also confirmed that 96 of the FTSE 100 had at least one ethnic minority director by the end of December 2022, up from 47% in 2016 and largely meeting the Parker Review’s initial target for Britain’s biggest companies. 

Of course, a single ethnic minority director is just the start of the change we need to see and so it was encouraging to see that half of those FTSE 100 companies actually had more than one ethnic minority director by the end of last year.

But as we have seen in the gender diversity space, there is still so much to be done if true equity is to be achieved.

It remains the case that the vast majority of ethnic minority directors occupy non-executive roles. In the FTSE 100, for example, while the data revealed ethnic minority directors now account for 18% of all directorships, just six ethnic minority directors held a chair position, only seven were CEOs and nine were CFOs.

However, there are many practical things company leaders can do to bring about change from collecting more and better data to taking part in reverse mentoring. 

For example, the 30% Club is helping organisations build on their commitment to race equity with our Leaders for Race Equity programme, run in partnership with the CBI’s Change the Race Ratio and Moving Ahead.

We match CEOs with ethnic minority executives from outside their organisations to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges while also attending working groups with their HR and D&I leads on topics ranging from data to AI to inform and improve corporate action on race equity.

We hope this initiative will help our CEO members deliver impactful leadership in race equity throughout their organisations to ensure a wide pipeline of diverse talent progressing and thriving right to the very top.
Parker Review stats
Leaders for Race Equity

The Parker Review has set new targets for December 2027:

  • – Each FTSE 350 company will be asked to set a percentage target for senior management positions that will be occupied by ethnic minority executives in December 2027
  • – 50 of the UK’s largest private companies have been set the target of having at least one ethnic minority director on the main board by December 2027. 
  • – Each company will also be asked to set a target for the percentage of ethnic minority executives within its senior management team 


You can read more about the targets and access the rest of the Parker Review data by clicking the box below. 


Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries

Gender-balanced boards more likely to push for better company culture

What female directors prioritise

What diversity delivers

The 30% Club, in partnership with board advisory specialists Lintstock, has today issued new qualitative analysis based on the engagement of male and female directors in 100 FTSE board reviews in a report titled Evidencing the Contribution of Gender Balance to Board Effectiveness.  

The survey showcases the difference gender diversity makes to the running of corporate boards, with a significant finding that women are more likely than men to focus on emerging issues, notably company culture and employee development.

In addition, female directors were also more likely to offer criticism and recommendations for improvement on both their own performance and their business activities.

The past twenty years have irrevocably changed the way businesses think about board composition and the impact this has on decision-making, with a push for greater gender diversity at the forefront of this shift in perception.

Through examining the engagement of male and female directors in board reviews, this study illustrates how gender diversity contributes positively to board performance. The findings show that gender balance is no longer a question of fairness, but that of effectiveness.



Despite the increased focus on ethnic diversity, the analysis highlights there have yet to be any examples of boards truly grappling with diversity in its wider forms, with some mismatches occurring between diversity ambitions and boards’ actions.

By demonstrating the link between diversity and effective oversight, we hope that this study will renew the impetus of boards to go beyond the traditional candidate pool, to secure directors with a broader set of skills and backgrounds.




Other key findings…

  • – Female directors are more likely to identify the need for further board diversity in areas such as age, culture and social background

  • – Women are three times more likely to recommend greater ethnic diversity than their male colleagues

  • – Women engaged heavily on employee sentiment and culture and were over 50% more likely to serve as a designated non-executive director for engaging with the workforce – the most frequently adopted employee engagement mechanism
  • – Women were 50% more inclined to raise ESG performance as an area for improvement.
What women want
Hanneke Smits

Hanneke Smits, global chair of the 30% Club and CEO of BNY Investment Management, said: “The findings further confirm that a more gender diverse group of board members will consider a greater variety of issues and ask a wider range of questions. Of particular importance in the report is the evidence that female board directors place a greater priority on hiring diverse teams and therefore increasing access to a broader pool of skills and experience.


“Against the backdrop of a challenging macro and geopolitical environment, it’s critical that companies harness the power of diverse talent at all levels of their organisation to succeed. At the 30% Club our focus is unwavering: diversity must remain on the board agenda and there is genuine progress to ensure current, and future, executive leadership teams better represent the society we live in.”


Neil Alderton, a partner at Lintstock, said: “Oversight of employees was becoming a headline concern for boards even before the upheaval of COVID-19 and findings from our study reveals that female board members are more than twice as likely as their male counterparts to identify the need to focus on people development and improving the diversity of the workforce.


“Better gender balance is not only a question of fairness – our findings show that it is also a matter of effectiveness. We see that diversity of gender contributes to diversity of thought around a number of board performance areas, broadening boards’ horizons and bolstering the support and challenge that directors are able to provide as a collective.”


30% Club Ireland launches 2023 scholarships

30% Club Ireland

The 30% Club Ireland, whose aim is to achieve better gender balance at all levels in Irish businesses, has announced two new development opportunities for women in business – a 2023 programme of 27 postgraduate and executive education scholarships and, in partnership with AIB, 30 access opportunities for women in SMEs on the IMI/30% Club cross-company mentoring programme.

The scholarship programme, which is delivered in partnership with key education providers, covers a range of executive education disciplines including prestigious MBA programmes and technical masters programmes in STEM, Healthcare, Public Policy and other specialist areas. 

First offered in 2015, the annual programme aims to raise participation rates for women in, and general awareness of, executive education and to provide financial support for women interested in executive education, who may be limited by funding concerns. 


Gillian Harford, Country Executive with the 30% Club commented: “International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th. But it is about more than celebrating just one day, it is about taking real and practical steps that will help to bring about more balanced investment in talent and career progression.

“Having offered just three scholarships in year one, we are delighted now to be offering 27 scholarships for 2023”, said Ms Harford. “In addition to providing great opportunities for talented women, the programme gives us, and our education partners, the opportunity to encourage more diversity in executive classrooms for greater learning outcomes.”

The scholarship programme is open to all women and is not restricted to 30% Club member company supporters.

In partnership with AIB, the 30% Club has also announced a new 3-year initiative that will provide sponsored access for 30 women from the SME sector to the IMI/30% Club Cross Company Mentoring programme.  The IMI/30% Club programme started in 2015 and brings together experienced leaders and mid-career high potential individuals for mentoring focused on both professional and personal development.


Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries

Investors given tool to boost gender equity in net zero race

The Women in Finance Climate Action Group has developed a framework to help financial institutions support women in the net zero transition and limit the negative impact of climate change on women.

The 30% Club is delighted to support the rollout of this first-of-its-kind framework specifically for private investors and the key role they play in financing net zero.

Integrating a gender lens into climate investments is important to value women as key stakeholders in solutions, to ensure not only a better path, a more ‘Just Transition’, but also a shorter one, unleashing the potential of women as changemakers, in finance and in who and what is being financed.


Women remain under-represented in climate finance


The Women in Finance Climate Group argues that whilst climate change disproportionately impacts women, women remain seriously under-represented in climate policy, climate decision-making and climate finance.

The Action Framework, created in collaboration with the Oliver Wyman Forum and 2X Global, is available to download here.

The Women in Finance Climate Action Group comprises women leaders from business, the public sector and civil society and includes Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF-UK and Sarah Breeden, Executive Director at the Bank of England.


Amanda Blanc, Aviva’s Group CEO, said: “Private capital is key to mobilising the trillions of dollars required over the next three decades to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. And yet the global private finance sector does not currently have the tools or incentives in place to evaluate and improve the impact of climate finance on gender equality.

“We need more data to measure the impact of specific climate investments or project financing on women and girls. We hope this Framework will give financial institutions what they need to begin to measure and deliver greater gender equality when taking action on net zero.”

Rupal Kantaria, Partner, Oliver Wyman Forum and head of climate for the 30% Club, added: “This first-of-its-kind Action Framework for investors embeds gender considerations into climate investment decisions. Both are critical for financing a faster and more just climate transition.”




Amanda Blanc and Rupal Kantaria

Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries

French investors reveal gains for women’s leadership

Screenshot 2023-01-16 at 12.56.17

According to the 30% Club France Investor Group’s annual report, gender diversity is improving in the SBF 120 but there is still a long way to go.

The 30% Club France Investor Group is pleased to announce the publication of its second annual report. In its second year of the campaign, the 30% Club France Investor Group conducted a wide variety of activities to engage with corporates, stakeholders, and experts, enabling us to develop key observations regarding gender diversity in France.

The 30% Club France Investor Group are stewards of France’s investee companies. Part of that responsibility includes the assessment of their executive management teams. Since 2017, listed companies in France must have a minimum of 40% of women on the Board of Directors under the Copé Zimmermann law. The Rixain Law adopted in 2021 also enforces that Executive Committees have 30% female representation by 2027 and 40% by 2030. 


Last year, the Investor group conducted 18 in-person engagement meetings and conversations and observed that:

– Compared to last year, companies are both more open to engaging with us and more prepared. 

– There is positive momentum emerging in the form of action plans and targeted goals, but these targets as well as their scopes (i.e., the executive body targeted) and time horizons lack homogeneity, making it difficult to work towards the goal of 30% female representation at the highest levels of management.

– Two opposite trends are coming into play. The COVID-19 crisis had a disproportionately negative impact on women in attracting, retaining, and promoting talent while the enforcement of the Rixain Law acted as an accelerator of awareness for the importance of gender diversity.



Member of the French Parliament, Marie-Pierre Rixain said:

By making equality between women and men the great concern of his five-year term, President Emmanuel Macron has helped accelerate the march of history. Indeed, a certain number of blockages in our collective organization still constrain women’s economic room to maneuver and lead to a cascade of consequences. With this in mind, I drafted a bill in 2021 that enshrines new economic rights for women thus allowing them to conquer their status as free and autonomous economic actors.

The number of requests I receive proves that this issue is on the table for all companies now more than ever. Finally, our country is thinking about how to make half of the working population a source of value creation, wealth, and jobs. 

I believe that an increasingly significant proportion of large companies have taken measures for the challenge of gender diversity. In this respect, the law that I introduced – which marks a major change in the management and retention of corporate talent – will accelerate this dynamic by imposing ambitious but achievable targets for the players concerned.

Global Head Sustainable & Impact Investment, Allianz Global Investors, Matt Christensen said: 

“In the two years since the initiative’s launch, I’m pleased to see that the importance of gender diversity is increasingly acknowledged within French companies and that encouraging progress in terms of female representation on executive leadership teams is visible.

Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go. By pooling our efforts under the 30% Club France, we as investors can help move the lines faster to drive genuine and sustainable change by looking not only at the executive committee but also at how companies build a gender-diverse talent pipeline. The 30% by 2025 is the floor, not the ceiling. The Rixain Law on economic and professional equity for women sets 40% by 2030 as the next frontier. We are willing to do our part!”

Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries

Przewodnik Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Przedstawiamy Państwu nasz autorski Przewodnik Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) pełen narzędzi, pomysłów i inspiracji, jak zwiększać różnorodność i jak budować inkluzywną kulturę organizacyjną, przydatny dla firm niezależnie od ich poziomu zaawansowania.


Chociaż płeć jest naszym punktem wyjścia, w pełni zdajemy sobie sprawę, że wiek, niepełnosprawność, rasa, pochodzenie etniczne, narodowość, orientacja psychoseksualna, tożsamość płciowa oraz inne przesłanki narażające na zachowania dyskryminacyjne są częścią tej podróży. Dlatego zestaw narzędzi nie skupia się wyłącznie na płci, ale pozwala zbudować holistyczny plan DEI.


Przewodnik DEI został zaprojektowany tak, by był źródłem pomysłów i inspiracji dla wszystkich organizacji, bez względu na ich rozmiar czy aktualny poziom zaawansowania w obszarze DEI. Większe organizacje zachęcamy do skorzystania z pełnego Planu działania na rzecz różnorodności, równych szans i włączenia (DEI) – może on pomóc przy diagnozie aktualnej sytuacji oraz identyfikacji obszarów wymagających działań. Firmy mniejsze i te skoncentrowane na konkretnych aspektach DEI (np. przyciąganie czy rozwijanie talentów) mogą przejść do odpowiedniego obszaru w poszukiwaniu pomysłów, najlepszych praktyk i celów.


Przewodnik DEI jest dostępny dla wszystkich – nie tylko dla firm współpracujących z 30% Club Poland. Wierzymy, że działania zwiększające różnorodność i włączenie są ważne i korzystne dla całego społeczeństwa i gospodarki. Dlatego Przewodnik został zaprojektowany tak, aby można było z niego swobodnie korzystać i dzielić się jego treścią, ale zawsze przy wskazaniu 30% Club Poland jako źródła.


Planujemy regularnie aktualizować Przewodnik. Jeśli masz sugestie, pomysły oraz case studies, które mogą uatrakcyjnić jego treść i przekaz, zapraszamy do kontaktu!

30% Club MENA: We need more female leaders in the fight against climate change

Female leadership

As governments and private companies gear up to tackle climate issues and make it part of the agenda of C-Suite executives and leadership teams, improving gender equity in boardrooms and decision-making tables cannot be an afterthought when drafting climate policy or sustainability efforts. 

Women’s leadership is crucial in tackling climate change. More so in the Middle East and North Africa region, where gender imbalance in leadership is significant.

These are the principle points raised in a White Paper commissioned by Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) on gender diversity and sustainability in partnership with the 30% Club MENA, Arabian Business and the American University in Cairo to mark Gender Day at COP27. 

  • Key highlights from the report include:

  • COP27 is a perfect platform to continue pushing for change and inform firms on the need to implement policies that encourage more women to rise to leadership roles and have their voice heard.

  • For now, men are overrepresented on constituted bodies and government delegations, which remains an issue of concern. Equal and meaningful participation and leadership of women is vital to achieve climate goals.

  • Gender equality and women’s leadership can no longer be an afterthought when drafting climate policy. The time to act and accelerate change is now.
Deloitte web post graphic (6)

30% Club global chair and Mastercard executive vice chair Ann Cairns said: 


Business is at its best when it brings together all the brightest minds, sharing their thoughts, ideas, and concerns.

“The 30% Club has been campaigning for greater gender diversity in corporate boardrooms since 2010 — a time when there were just 12.5 per cent women serving on the boards of Britain’s biggest companies, the FTSE 100.

“Our argument has always been that diversity of thought in senior leadership makes business better.”

Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries

Black women least likely to be top earners

Black women are under-represented and underpaid in executive roles and the least likely to be in the UK’s top 1% of earners. Black women continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles across the UK workforce.

The Inclusion Initiative at LSE, Mastercard and the 30% Club collaborated to undertake interviews with 44 Black women at various stages in their careers. The study was designed to  understand the headwinds and tailwinds that these women experienced throughout their career, with the view that firms interested in nurturing talented women could focus on augmenting the tailwinds that these women experience, as well as reducing their headwinds.

The analysis led to the creation of the TRANSPARENT framework, a new framework to create organisations that are inclusive of Black women in Finance, Professional Services and Big Technology. 

  • Key highlights from the report include:


  • 92% of the women we interviewed called for systemic change within their workplaces.
  • Black women also experience the largest pay gaps when compared to non-Black women and men, as well as Black men (Almeida et al. 2021).

  • The largest gaps are in finance, professional services, and big technology. 70% of Black women in these sectors believe they are being paid less than their comparable peers, with more than 10% of women reporting pay gaps as high as 30%.


    From the analysis, the researchers created the TRANSPARENT framework to create organisations that are inclusive of Black women in Finance, Professional Services and Big Technology.

Diverse directors
Deloitte web post graphic (6)

30% Club global chair and Mastercard executive vice chair Ann Cairns said: 


“We were delighted to partner with the London School of Economics on this research, to better understand the barriers Black women face in the workplace. Anecdotally, we have been hearing that Black women experience the most negative impact when it comes to progression in the workplace, specifically in the areas in which we operate; technology, financial and professional services and we undertook this research to validate that.

This thought-provoking research and the TRANSPARENT framework will be used to inform our own future activities and policies going forward within Mastercard. I hope they will also be of use to many other companies wanting to leverage it and tackle the issue within their organisations.”

The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at the LSE, Mastercard and the 30% Club hope to inspire firms to adopt these actions. Moreover, it is envisioned that companies will evaluate the effectiveness of these actions, making transparent the evaluation results.

This transparency allows firms to learn together ‘what works’ for the fair inclusion of Black women in finance, professional services and big technology. Given that the pay gaps experienced by Black women are the largest in the sectors studied, making Black women the benchmark for real change within organisations is appropriate. 

Training, recruitment, operations, promotions, procurement, strategies, and policies should be evidently inclusive of Black women. The call for greater transparency through reporting, audits and monitoring of the progress of Black women will help ensure firms are on track.

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Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries