Categorized | Blog

France puts forward legislation to mandate gender equity on boards; while in Australia ASX introduces guidelines for targets

At sphinxx we think it’s time for change when it comes for gender diversity.  So it’s great news that two major countries have announced serious change for publicly listed companies this week.

Under legislation put forward by the party of President Nicolas Sarkozy, women would have to comprise 50% of board members of all companies listed on the French stock exchange by 2015 with companies ramping up their quotas by meeting smaller targets along the way. According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, women currently comprise just 10.5% of board members in CAC 40 (French stock market index) companies.  If passed, France would follow in the footsteps of–and indeed go further than–Norway, which made headlines in 2002 when the government enforced a 40% female quota on its companies. State-owned companies had one year to meet the target and even privately-held companies came under the gun.

Here in Australia, companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange will be asked to begin publishing a gender breakdown of directors and senior staff and set targets for gender diversity from July 1 next year.  The proposed corporate governance guidelines, made public by the ASX yesterday, call on companies to devise and publish ”diversity policies” that include self-imposed targets for staff diversity. Companies would be expected to disclose whether the targets were achieved, and the proportion of women on staff, in senior ranks and on the board.  Board nomination committees would also be required to disclose the ”skills and diversity” criteria sought for each new board appointment.  Companies that fail to comply with the guidelines would need to explain why not to the ASX Corporate Governance Council. The council’s chief executive, Eric Mayne, said yesterday that the issue might be elevated to the status of a listing rule if companies did not co-operate.

Watch this space for more details and updates… and if you hear news please let us know.


* indicates required

Join Me On Facebook

This message is only visible to admins.
PPCA Error: Due to Facebook API changes it is no longer possible to display a feed from a Facebook Page you are not an admin of. The Facebook feed below is not using a valid Access Token for this Facebook page and so has stopped updating.