Speed Read

  • Companies that set and track gender diversity targets achieve greater progress
  • There are many factors to consider when setting targets: timelines, proportion of talent in the feeder population or pipeline, percentage of women in the industry, company attrition rates and more
  • Other measures, such as engagement survey data on levels of inclusion, are equally important in assessing the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion strategies
  • A singular focus on representation targets can have adverse outcomes

Companies that set and track gender diversity targets achieve more progress. That was the finding by consulting firm KPMG in 2016, after its review of Australian corporate governance reports showed those companies which disclosed clear quantifiable objectives, like achieving 35 per cent of women at a senior management level by a certain date, demonstrated a higher level of gender diversity than those which did not set quantitative targets.

Studies like these explain why there’s been significant focus on target setting from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and ASX with its Corporate Governance Council’s Diversity Recommendations over the past decade in Australia. The AICD has urged Boards of Australia’s top 200 companies to have a minimum 30 per cent female representation. The top 100 ASX firms reached 30 per cent female board representation in May 2018.

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