The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors has released a new voting policy to promote gender balance in Australia’s listed company boardrooms.

The new voting policy takes effect from July 2023 and extends to from the ASX201-300, in which women hold an average of 34 per cent of board seats.   

The policy could see those companies facing recommendations ‘against’ male director re-elections if women do not occupy a minimum of 30 per cent of board seats. 

ACSI and its members are also encouraging companies to develop a timeframe within which they will achieve gender balance (40:40:20) on their boards. 

Nearly a decade after ACSI launched its drive for women to hold at least 30 per cent of ASX200 board seats, women now hold almost 36 per cent of all ASX200 directorships. In 2015, women held just 19.7 per cent of ASX200 board seats. 

In applying its updated policy, ACSI may recommend during the 2023 AGM season that its members vote against existing directors of ASX300 companies with poor gender diversity, focusing specifically on those most accountable for board succession and composition. 

ACSI has written to ASX300 companies advising them of the policy.