4 Dec 2012

Goal requires twice as many women company directors

7:11 am on 4 December 2012

The country's top 100 listed companies will have to double the number of women directors in the next two years to achieve the goal of 25% female representation.

That means nearly half of all new board appointees will have to be women.

The 25 Percent Group has taken the first step towards the goal with an initiative to work with recruitment agencies to appoint women to boards and senior executive positions.

Next year it will target individual chairs of companies, starting with those that have no female representation.

The moves come as new figures show the number of women directors with top firms rose from 9% to nearly 15% in two years.

25 Percent Group convenor and chief executive of Goldman Sachs New Zealand, Andrew Barclay, says the aim is to have 100 women on boards by 2015.

He says to reach that goal it would require about 45% of all board appointments to be women.

Mr Barclay says that's a significant challenge, but it's heartening that in Australia the number of women being appointed to boards is now more than 30% - more than double the figure of women appointed there three to four years ago.

He says in New Zealand 45% of those top 100 companies still have no women on boards, so the 25 Percent Group will be focused on those boards, as well as boards which only have one woman on them.