Gender equity: big companies better on boards, but below ASX average on management positions

New Catalyst research, released for International Women’s Day, reveals the best and worst points of women’s participation in corporate Australia. 

The report covers female participation on boards and in management as well as assessing policies to help women in the workplace. 

While some companies in the ASX have real equality on their boards, overall the ASX has a long way to go. ASX50 companies have 27% female board members while the ASX200 has just 22%. 

Top and bottom companies, women on boards, ASX100: 

Company

 Industry

# women board members

# board members

% women on board

Medibank Private

Insurance

5

8

63%

Mirvac Group

Property

4

8

50%

DUET Group

Utilities

4

9

44%

Spark Infrastructure

Utilities

3

7

43%

Woolworths

Retail

3

7

43%

 

 

 

Oil Search

Oil & Gas

1

9

11%

Westfield

Property

1

12

8%

Qube Holdings

Logistics

0

8

0%

Domino’s Pizza

Hospitality

0

6

0%

TPG Telecom

Teleco

0

5

0% 

Women’s participation in management positions is stronger across the ASX200 (37%) than the larger companies in the ASX50 (29%). Health care companies performed best in the ASX100: 

Company

Industry

Female managers worldwide

Healthscope

Health Care

80%

Primary Health Care

Health Care

60%

Ramsay Health Care

Health Care

53%

Sonic Healthcare

Health Care

53%

Flight Centre

Travel

49%

JB Hi-Fi

Specialty Retail

8%

Iluka Resources

Metals & Mining

8%

Sirtex Medical

Biotechnology

8%

Downer EDI

Infrastructure

7%

Alumina Limited

Metals & Mining

0% 

“The ASX50 has 5 CEOs named Andrew, 4 named Michael but only three who are women: Alison Watkins (Coca Cola Amatil), Susan Lloyd-Horwitz (Mirvac Group) and Kerrie Mather (Sydney Airport).” said report author Martijn Boersma.  

“It’s very unfortunate to see that larger companies in the ASX50 are behind the ASX200 average for women in management positions. It’s important to recognise that there is no apparent ‘trickle-down’ from board to management. 

“You would think in 2016 that Australia’s biggest companies would want board representation of half the population”, said corporate social responsibility (CSR) analyst Julia Leske from CAER research, who provided some data to Catalyst’s report. 

“The research also shows there has been only glacial improvement on the gender pay gap. If we maintain the current rate of progress, we won’t reach gender equity until 2087,” Leske said. 

Catalyst is a progressive think-tank who promote social and economic equality and improved standards of corporate social responsibility. The full report and interactive ESG Dashboard can be found at: http://csr.catalyst.org.au/reports/gender-equality-at-work/ 

This is the first of a series of quarterly CSR reports to be produced by Catalyst and CAER together with The Australia Institute. 

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