Australia's top company boards lead US on women's representation

Australia’s top company boards lead US on women’s representation but change still slow

board

New figures from Bloomberg show women finally hold more than one third of board seats at S&P/ASX 200 Index companies in Australia. 

At 35 per cent of women on boards, the figure exceeds S&P 500 companies in the U.S, where 31.7 per cent of women are on boards.

However, it remains below the percentage of women on Stoxx 600 company boards in Europe, where women hold 38.8 per cent of seats. 

And the change is still slow.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index, the percentage of female directorships increased from 34.8 per cent to 35 per cent in the past 12 months. 

Auckland International Airport Ltd. came out on top, with 63 per cent women on its board, the highest percentage of women among all the companies. 

Other notable companies with high percentages of women on its board include AMP Ltd, Blackmores Ltd. and GPT Group — all with 57 per cent women on their boards.

Only four companies on the index increased the number of women on their boards, including Brambles Ltd., GPT Group and Waypoint REIT Ltd, while companies including AGL Energy Ltd., Virgin Money UK Plc and Appen Ltd. actually saw the number of female directors decrease.

The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index used data covering 179 companies in the S&P/ASX 200, tracking the financial performance of companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, transparency and representation. 

A total of 122 companies on the index had at least 30 per cent of women on their boards. 

Goodman Group had the lowest percentage of women on its board, at just 11 per cent female. Other companies that had less than 1 in 5 women on their boards include Nickel Industries Ltd. (13 per cent), Idp Education Ltd. (14 per cent), National Storage REIT (17 per cent) and ARB Corp. (17 per cent). 

Earlier this month, the EU agreed that companies would meet mandatory quotas ensuring corporate boards have at least 40 per cent women, a policy that will come into effect from 30 June 2026. 

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