Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI) Chair Irene Natividad and Australian Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick were joined by over 50 women board directors and executives to open the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on September 10, 2014 to mark Australia’s successful efforts to promote women’s increased presence on corporate boards. This was the 14th stock exchange opened by CWDI, the research arm of the Global Summit of Women, spotlighting women’s business leadership and the contributions made by women to each country’s economy.
Citing the ASX as the ‘gold standard’ in stock exchange gender diversity initiatives, Ms. Natividad recognized ASX’s efforts with a Corporate Champion Award accepted by its Chairman Rick Holliday-Smith at a Forum on Board Diversity following Market Open. Ms. Natividad also applauded the work of Australia’s Male Champions of Change — one of whose members is ASX CEO Elmer Kupper — as a “best practice” now being replicated in several other countries to drive gender diversity on boards. Two other “Male Champions” — CEO of rail operator Aurizon Lance Hockridge and former CEO of IBM Australia Andrew Stevens — along with Commissioner Broderick, who formed the Male Champions of Change, engaged in a dialogue on how to move the needle further for women to access board seats.
Women now hold 18.3% of board seats of ASX 200 companies.
Five years ago, before the ASX guidelines requiring companies to report on the
gender diversity of their leadership and workforce, the percentage was just 8.3%.
View Australian press coverage of CWDI’s ASX Market Open below