13 Jun 2012

25 Percent Group pushes for more women on boards

7:11 pm on 13 June 2012

A new group aimed at getting more women into boardrooms is being launched in Wellington.

The 25 Percent Group aims to lift the proportion of women on New Zealand boards from its present level of just over 9% to 25% by 2015.

Founding members include Mighty River Power and Auckland Airport chairwoman Joan Withers, Progressive Enterprises' managing director Dave Chambers, ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman and Fletcher Building's chief executive Jonathan Ling.

Group members plan to use their influence to improve diversity at senior management and board level within their own firms and encourage others to follow suit.

The group is against formal gender quotas but supports possible moves by the NZX to require listed companies to spell out how many women are in governance and senior management roles.

Vector chairman, Michael Stiassny, is one of the group's founding members.

He says New Zealand is lagging behind Australia when it comes to women at the board table, and action needs to be taken.