NZ diversity advocate sets director target

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A prominent leadership lobby group has issued a challenge to New Zealand employers – saying it wants to see more female representation in the boardrooms of NZX-listed companies.

Global Women – which is a collaboration of New Zealand’s most influential female leaders – set a minimum target of 30 per cent composition by 2020. Currently, women account for just 16 per cent of New Zealand’s board members and 28 per cent of senior managers.

The advocate organisation included the objective in a recent submission to the NZX’s proposed changes to corporate governance reporting requirements – the first review of its kind since 2003.

Increased transparency around diversity policies is also on the agenda as is mandatory reporting on board composition – measures the group says will lead to a number of economic improvements for New Zealand.

The group also wants to see the objectives and reporting applied beyond senior management and board gender diversity to include pay equity. A recent report by global investment giant Goldman Sachs estimated that New Zealand’s GDP would increase by an incredible 10 per cent if the companies were able to close the gender gap.

According to Business Desk, NZX’s draft document recommends issuers develop a diversity policy but doesn’t prescribe what should be in it, leaving it up to listed companies to determine appropriate metrics and targets to report to and seek to meet.

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