Improving gender diversity
This article appeared in the September 2012 edition of the Listed @ ASX newsletter.
ASX-listed companies follow corporate governance recommendations.
An important development for Corporate Australia is that ASX-listed companies are embracing new ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations on gender diversity.
A KPMG study of a sample of 211 ASX-listed companies found nearly all reported they had established a diversity policy, or explained why they had not done so.
Within that sample, 129 companies disclosed they had established a diversity policy, and 76 of them reported having established measureable objectives for achieving gender diversity.
Most companies in the sample disclosed statistics on women appointments, including senior-level and board representation. Those that had not adopted the ASX diversity recommendations commonly said it was because of their “size and stage”.
The ASX media release on the KPMG study gives a snapshot of key diversity-reporting findings.
The ASX Education and Research Program commissioned KPMG to conduct an independent analysis of diversity disclosures made by ASX-listed companies with a 31 December 2011 year end. They are the first companies to report against the diversity recommendations first made in January 2011.
The ASX Corporate Governance Council made several important amendments to the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations in 2010, the most prominent recommendation being that ASX-listed companies disclose in their annual reports achievements against gender objectives set by the board, and the proportion of women in senior management and wider company roles.
The strong early feedback regarding gender diversity reporting reinforces the high level of acceptance of ASX Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations by ASX-listed companies.
More information on the Council and the effectiveness of its principles is available in this Listed@ASX article in May.
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