Debate over board quotas for women

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High-ranking female executives are a rarity in Australia, where almost half of the top-200 listed Institute boardroom companies have not one single female board director.

While the push to get more women around the boardroom table is growing, there are calls for more action to make those sentiments a reality as companies grapple with the challenge of promoting women into board positions.

Next month, a group of comedians, commentators and business leaders will host a light-hearted debate on a topic that women has been gaining serious momentum in business circles: the introduction of quotas to support female board participation.

A woman who has no trouble expressing her opinion, television and radio personality Julie McCrossin, will host the Australian Institute of Management’s Great Debate.

Ms McCrossin said it was time for a genuine discussion about whether quotas would make a positive difference.

“It is not just an academic argument anymore, it is really a core question about the Australian economy,” Ms McCrossin said.

“Are we going to find ways to draw on the talent of women, both in executive management and in board positions, and do we need quotas to achieve that?”

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