Listed companies will soon be required to disclose the percentage of women they employ and how they select their board of directors.

The new disclosures are the result of new rules set by the ASX Corporate Governance Council, which commence on 1 January 2011.

Principles and recommendations created by the Council relating to diversity, remuneration, trading policies and analyst briefings have been changed.

In relation to diversity, listed companies will need to:  

  • establish and disclose a diversity policy with measurable objectives (Recommendation 3.2)   
  • disclose the measureable objectives and their progress in achieving those objectives in the annual report (Recommendation 3.3)   
  • disclose the proportion of women employees in the organisation as a whole and those in senior positions (i.e. those that are on the board) (Recommendation 3.4), and   
  • make their diversity policy available to the public and where the entity departs from these recommendations, the entity must provide an explanation in the annual report (Recommendation 3.5).

In relation to remuneration, remuneration committees will need to:  

  • consist of at least 3 members   
  • comprise a majority of independent directors, and   
  • have an independent chair (Recommendation 8.2).  

These recommendations were the focus of the ASX Companies Update 08/10 (available on the ASX website).