Women in power: Aussie companies see rise in female board representation

Women in power: Aussie companies see rise in female board representation | Insurance Business Australia

Women in power: Aussie companies see rise in female board representation

Hurray for inclusivity! The number of Australian companies with 30% of female representation on their boards soared in October 2021, according to Bloomberg's latest Gender-Equality Index.

The index tracks the financial performance of companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation, and transparency.

It found that S&P/ASX 200 companies above the key threshold increased from 122 in September 2021 to 125 in October 2021 despite women holding one less seat on the boards of the biggest companies in Australia last month compared to the previous month.

Specifically, five S&P/ASX 200 companies increased the number of women on their boards, including Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp, Pilbara Minerals Ltd, and Bank of Queensland Ltd – with Fisher & Paykel and Pilbara both surpassing 30% female board membership for the first time since January 2019.

The report also revealed that the percentage of female leaders increased from 34% to 34.1% due to men departing boards, above the 30.3% of women on boards of the S&P 500 in the US and below the 37.2% of the Stoxx 600 in Europe.

Read more: QBE announces new group executive for people and culture

Based on Bloomberg's data covering 188 companies in the S&P/ASX 200, the companies with the highest percentage of female board members were:

Company

Top % Women on Board

Auckland International Airport Ltd.

63

Blackmores Ltd.

57

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

56

A2 Milk Co.

50

Adbri Ltd.

50

Ansell Ltd.

50

AMP Ltd.

50

BlueScope Steel Ltd.

50

Elders Ltd.

50

Metcash Ltd.

50

By contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 companies with the lowest percentage of female board members were:

Company

Bottom % Women on Board

Nickel Mines Ltd.

11

Mesoblast Ltd.

13

Idp Education Ltd.

14

CIMIC Group Ltd.

14

National Storage REIT

17

Kogan.com Ltd.

17

ARB Corp.

17

Boral Ltd.

17

Transurban Group

20

Ramelius Resources Ltd.

20

Many insurance companies have been focusing on improving their male-female board ratio and other ways to promote inclusivity and fairness across their organisations.

QBE Insurance Group (QBE), for example, most recently appointed Amanda Hughes as its new group executive for people and culture – reflecting the company's commitment to taking care of its people.

The insurance giant also implemented new inclusive support initiatives for its employees and their partners who have experienced pregnancy loss at any stage through a partnership with miscarriage and pregnancy loss charity The Pink Elephants Support Network.