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ALBEI Presentation

ALBEI Presentation

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2024 ASX200 Board Diversity Governance

As at January 2024 only 2 companies in the ASX200 reported on under-represented groups in respect of their boards. This is in spite of 67 companies having fully inclusive diversity & inclusion policies which apply to the board and directors.

We have updated our 2023 research to include the ASX200 and the results are no better than the ASX50 research from last year.

The link to the web report is below.

Only 2 companies on the ASX200 report extensively on their own board diversity beyond gender in respect of under-represented groups. One is Woodside Energy which is done voluntarily and the other is Block Inc which is also listed on the NASDAQ and must report on under-represented groups at the board level.

67 Companies out of the ASX200 have fully inclusive diversity policies which apply to the board. However, 65 of them only report on gender and do not report on other aspects of diversity at the baord level. 62 companies apply a broad definition of diversity to their workforce but not to themselves - why do they not hold themselves to the same standard?

Our approach:

There is no cookie cutter approach to board governance frameworks in Australia and many have evolved their own nuances which need to be interrogated. In carrying out our review of the ASX200 we first considered the Diversity & Inclusion Policy of a company to see if it explicitly applied to the directors or the board. Where the policy appeared ambiguous and only referred to employees or other terms such as “at all levels” the policy was deemed to not include directors.

Once the Diversity and inclusion policy was reviewed we reviewed the Nominations Committee (or Equivalent) Charter to see if there was an obligation to consider diversity and then to the company’s Corporate Governance Statement to see how “diversity” was reported in the public domain. We also considered if the Nominations Committee Charter diverged from the policy.

Further, where the wording of the diversity and inclusion policy is ambiguous this is sometimes clarified by the Corporate Governance Statement or other artefacts. We accepted a definition as inclusive if it included the following gender, ethnicity, marital or family status, religion, culture, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and age. Generally differences in background were called out along with life experience. Given the various policy formats and drafting styles judgement had to be exercised. We noticed that companies have been reviewing their definitions to include intersex status and other identity definitions. The ASX200 used for this research was that applying on Monday 22 January 2024. EFT’s in the ASX200 were excluded from the analysis.

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