Sunday, August 24, 2014

Small bank shows up big end of town on boardroom diversity

Sometimes it takes a small player to prove that diversity is possible in company boardrooms and the ranks of senior management.

While the big end of town often often talks about diversity, the financial minnow Teachers Mutual Bank can boast four women from a Board of nine.

It's an important and interesting case study in a world where blokes still rule in the boardroom.

Although almost all ASX 200 listed companies have policies on improving diversity, only around 19 percent of companies have turned an unenforcable ambition into reality.

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) last year expressed its concern at the slow progress and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick recently warned quotas might be necessary.

So how has Teachers Mutual Bank done it?

I spoke to chief executive Steve James on the ABC's "AM" program.

He says it's all about representing members - of whom 59 percent are women.

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