We can only hope that some day the following news will be unremarkable.
But until then, the fact that more than 50% of ASX 200 board appointments in the first quarter of 2018 have gone to women is something to celebrate.
It’s the first time in history that more women than men have been appointed to such boards.
However, it’s no reason for complacency. Nor for believing that once again, the lack of diversity on boards will fix itself in time. Unless you’re prepared to wait a really, really long time.
Also, there are still only 12 female CEOs leading ASX 200 organisations, meaning women are outnumbered by men named Andrew.
There were 56 appointments to ASX 200 boards in the first quarter of 2018, with 52% of them went to women, according to today’s figures from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
That’s solid progress on the same period in 2017, when just 33% of such appointments went to women, although the first quarter in 2016 was tracking a little better than last year, at 44%.
AICD chairman Elizabeth Proust AO says the figures indicate that finally, we are seeing a demand for female directors.
She notes research that shows having one woman on a board is not enough to achieve the benefits of diversity. At least three women are needed, or a female director rate of at least 30%.
Thirty per cent is where the “magic happens”, according to Proust, which is why the AICD is still pushing to see its target of 30% female representation across ASX 200 boards happen by 2018.
Just a few months ago that target was looking out of reach.
While these latest figures from the first quarter of 2018 don’t at all guarantee success on reaching the target, they do indicate the target is still possible if the momentum continues and builds from here.