30% Club Australia Announces New Chair

The 30% Club Australia, a leading organisation campaigning for 30% women on ASX 200 boards by the end of 2018, has today announced the appointment of Ms. Nicola Wakefield Evans to the position of Chair, effective 1 July 2018, replacing Patricia Cross who will stand down on 30 June 2018.
After several years of incubation, Patricia Cross founded the 30% Club in Australia, with its formal launch in May 2015.
The first three years of the Club’s establishment in Australia have been a period of intense activity with the signing on of 95 Chair members, 14 signatories to the investors’ Statement of Intent, growth in participation of women on ASX 200 companies from 19.4% of board seats to 27.7% today, and the engagement of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) as the secretariat support for the 30% Club in Australia.
The latest figures from AICD reveal that for the first-time women account for 30% of board positions across ASX 100 companies and that this is ahead of UK, US and Canada (which are 28.9%, 23.6% and 20.6% respectively).
“We’ve made significant progress in Australia to date, but in a way the hard work is just beginning as the 30% Club will begin to increase its own advocacy. I’m excited about handing the reins over to Nicola, as she is a passionate advocate for diversity, a highly engaged member of our 30% Club Australia Steering Committee, and as well as a director of our vital stakeholder- the AICD,” notes Ms Cross.
“I am thankful for the tremendous support we have received since founding from key stakeholders such as the AICD, KPMG, Shed Connect, Macquarie, Bloomberg and the ANZ. The support of these organisations has been enthusiastic from the very top down all the way through. I also want to express my gratitude to Ownership Matters and the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors for their thought leadership on this subject, both to me and to the broader business community.”

“We are all especially appreciative of the support from so many leading ASX company Chairs. It wouldn’t happen without you,” says Ms Cross. 
Nicola Wakefield Evans comes to her new role with a wealth of professional, corporate and advocacy experience.
She is a non-executive director of Macquarie Group, Lendlease Corporation, Bupa Australia & New Zealand and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
She was a partner of King & Wood Mallesons for over 20 years, before retiring from the partnership in 2013.
She has a long-standing commitment to gender diversity, including being on the board of Chief Executive Women. She sits on the national board of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and she has been involved in the 30% Club since its formation

She has been a regular contributor to debates on such issues as extending childcare hours to give women more flexibility with their working hours, and pushing company chairs to broaden their criteria for selecting directors.

Wakefield Evans says the discussion about diversity in the boardroom needs to move away from simplistic labels.

Speaking recently at the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors conference, she noted that “Australia has a “systemic, cultural” problem with women in power.”

“We have strong support from business and the investment community, and a burning desire on their part to advocate for diverse boards. We have bi-partisan support from our political leaders. The community at large expects the composition of boards to reflect the broader Australian population. So I believe the time is right to reignite this conversation and campaign.”

“Gender still plays into the reporting of how directors and executives perform. It shouldn’t matter whether they are male or female,” she says.
For more information about the 30% Club please visit https://30percentclub.org/ or contact:
Simrita Virk at Shed Connect
M: 0434 531 172
E: simrita.virk@shedconnect.com