The third BlackRock review of gender diversity policies and disclosure, reviews the 2013 annual reports of Australia’s 200 largest-capitalised ASX listed companies. In doing so BlackRock hopes to improve diversity policies and reporting.

The research revealed three key findings:

Finding 1 – Improvement in diversity at executive levels lags boards At the very top of ASX200 companies, the underlying gender diversity in boards and at the crucial key management personnel (KMP)4 level has risen. But progress has been slow for those in full-time executive roles supporting the view that corporate commitment to gender diversity policies is piecemeal and could definitely ‘do better’.

Finding 2 – Disclosure is perfunctory ‘Perfunctory’ describes the most common approach to gender diversity disclosure and reporting of ASX200 companies. The general tendency was for disclosure to simply state a company had a diversity policy, list some measurable objectives and disclose some statistics. It appeared from the board down, gender diversity is not included in the DNA of most companies.

Finding 3 – Increased attention from stakeholders The voting guidelines of the key proxy advisors refer to diversity and the issue may be taken into account when proxy advisors are making recommendations on how to vote on the election/re-election of directors.

(excerpt from the Executive Summary, BlackRock Investments)

To find out more, read the full report here.

Categories: Australia