Diversity Council Australia partnered with Deakin University on Australian first research to investigate cultural diversity in ASX Boards over the past decade. The findings released in March 2015 reveal that while cultural diversity on ASX boards has increased, boardrooms don’t yet reflect the cultural diversity in the Australian community and are failing to realise the potential benefits.
In each of ASX 100, ASX 200 and ASX 500 listed companies, only a quarter of directors are from culturally diverse backgrounds compared with a third in the wider Australian community, and only 5% are from Asian backgrounds versus 8.5% of the Australian community. But on the positive side, there has been significant growth in cultural diversity on boards in the last decade – by as much as 74% and 61% when it comes to chairs and directors from Asian backgrounds, and 16% and 22% for chairs and directors from culturally diverse backgrounds.
In our examination of the cultural origins of ASX-listed company board directors at three key time points – 2004, 2009 and 2013 – we found: