MARKETS

Women on mining boards hits all-time high

<strong>ALLAN Trench</strong> and <strong>Morgan Trench</strong> update the latest numbers on gender diversity across ASX-listed mining boardrooms.

Staff Reporter
Women on mining boards hits all-time high

Strictly Boardroom last updated the figures on gender diversity across Australia’s minerals sector boardrooms at the end of 2013. With the June 30, 2014. financial year close now behind us, it is timely to once again update the analysis.

The news is good – or at least the news is a little better than it was last time may be a more appropriate tagline. Female participation in Australia’s minerals sector boardrooms has once again hit a new all-time high in the new boardroom diversity analysis – but the rate of change still remains only incremental.

Using the Director Search* algorithm, Strictly Boardroom extracted and analysed director information from the 150 minerals companies listed as having the largest market capitalisation in the sector.**

To the results: Here are the headline numbers from that July 2014 dataset:

  • 27% of companies had at least one female board member;

     

  • Women now occupy 6.3% of all positions; 

  • That is, the data search revealed that 52 of 823 director roles are filled by women; and

     

  • 11 companies have two women on their boards.

As with the previous diversity analyses, the numbers of women on mining boards still remains modest – but the latest available data are nevertheless once again higher than for the all previous analyses reported in Strictly Boardroom.

By way of a direct comparison, the most recent comparable numbers from end-2013 study were as follows:

  • 24% of companies with at least one female board member;

    &acirc;€&cent;

  • Women occupying 5.4% of all positions in the (then) largest 150 minerals companies;

    &acirc;€&cent;

  • The December 2013 data search revealed 45 of 835 director roles filled by women; and

    &acirc;€&cent;

  • Nine companies (of the then largest 100) had two women on each of their boards.

Now to state the obvious: There is still plenty of scope here for these numbers to increase of course.

Clearly the underlying issue of under-representation of women on our sector’s boards is not one that will be solved with repeated analysis of statistics alone.

Our culture has to change too: Unfortunately culture is far more difficult to measure using a computer algorithm than are the actual diversity numbers themselves.

Watch that space.

Allan Trench is professor (value and risk) at the Centre for Exploration Targeting, University of Western Australia, professor of energy and mineral economics at Curtin University Graduate School of Business, a non-executive director to several resources sector companies – and the Perth representative for CRU Strategies, a division of independent metals and mining advisory CRU Group (allan.trench@crugroup.com).

Morgan Trench is studying computational science at the Australian National University. (morgan.trench@gmail.com)

*The Director Search algorithm is a custom-made web-search program that analyses key director information pertaining to each company as reported on ASX.com.au. The information reported here is current to July 24, 2014.

**The largest 150 companies on the ASX minerals sector (excluding oil and gas) was identical to the list published by Gresham Advisory Partners in their July 2014 Gresham Group 150 market report.

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