After reaching an all time high in at the end of last year, the number of women on ASX 200 boards has stalled at 29.5 per cent.

That’s slightly lower than December 31, 2018 when women accounted for 29.7 per cent of all ASX200 board positions and further away from the AICD’s goal of 30 per cent which its been working towards since 2015.

The year to date appointment rate of women sits at just 23 per cent.

AICD managing director and CEO Angus Armour said the results, released yesterday, are disappointing.

“At the beginning of this year we expected to achieve our 30 per cent target imminently, but unfortunately the overall percentage has fallen since the start of this year,” he said.

“I challenge all boards to look around their boardroom and ask if there is sufficient diversity of skills, experience and gender to effectively meet the demands of a challenging governance landscape.”

The latest statistics reveal that there are still four companies with no women on their boards (TPG Telecom, Emeco, ARB, and HUB24) and 50 companies only have one female board member.

“Far too many companies appear to think that diversity stops after the appointment of one woman,” said Armour.

“Diverse boards help prevent group-think, leading to better outcomes for shareholders, consumers, employees and the community. They promote greater innovation and improved bottom lines.”

The AICD’s target is a voluntary one and, to date, the gains have been achieved without legislation, but through lobbying and shareholder pressure. However some jurdistications have passed laws mandating gender diversity within boards, for example California introduced laws in October 2018 requiring public companies headquartered in the state to have women on their boards.

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