More women than men are for the first time getting seats at the boardroom tables of Australia’s top ASX-listed companies.

Analysis by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) shows more women than men were appointed to ASX200 boards in the first quarter of 2018.

The AICD does not measure gender board appointments outside the ASX200.

This is the first time that female appointments to ASX200 boards have exceeded males since the AICD began tracking monthly appointment rates.

Of the 56 appointments to ASX200 boards in the first three months of the year, 52 per cent were women.

This compares to 33 per cent female appointments in the first quarter of 2017 and 44 per cent over the first quarter of 2016.

“When it comes to increasing gender diversity on Australia’s largest boards, we know that it’s never been a supply problem, it’s been a demand problem,” says AICD chairman Elizabeth Proust.

“What today’s figures hopefully show is that, finally, we are seeing the demand.

“Research shows that one woman alone does not do enough to achieve the full benefits of diversity and rather that three women, or 30 per cent for most boards, is where the magic happens.”

The AICD has a target of having 30 per cent female representation across ASX200 boards by the end of 2018.

The percentage of female directors across the ASX200 has risen dramatically since 2009 when it stood at just 8.3 per cent. Growth stalled late last year but has since taken off again.

The AICD’s Quarterly Gender Diversity Report, released last month, showed women accounted for 26.7 per cent of ASX200 directorships.

“Importantly, today’s figures aren’t a sign that it’s time to take the foot of the brake,” says Proust.

“We will only reach our target of 30 per cent female representation across ASX200 boards by the end of this year if the female appointment rate remains strong.

“Greater gender diversity on our boards is crucial to the future of good governance in this country.”

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