AustLII Home | Databases | WorldLII | Search | Feedback

University of New South Wales Law Journal Student Series

You are here:  AustLII >> Databases >> University of New South Wales Law Journal Student Series >> 2022 >> [2022] UNSWLawJlStuS 24

Database Search | Name Search | Recent Articles | Noteup | LawCite | Author Info | Download | Help

Shaji, Kevin --- "Women Deserve a Seat at the Table - a Case for a Gender Quota in Australia'" [2022] UNSWLawJlStuS 24; (2022) UNSWLJ Student Series No 22-24




‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. I don't say (the split) should be 50-50. It could be 60% men, 40% women, or the other way around. It shouldn't be that women are the exception’.[1] Now more than ever, businesses are playing an increasingly prominent role in shaping the future of society.[2] Although Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s words are now more than a decade old, their continued resonance elucidates a clear problem in today’s day and age for women in leadership positions – particularly at the top in executive and company directorship positions. Despite the considerable progress made towards achieving gender equality worldwide, much still needs to be done to reduce the multiple barriers women face climbing the ‘corporate ladder’.[3] This is especially true for Australia, where women are underrepresented in decision-making and leadership roles across almost all sectors of the economy despite overtaking men in higher education.[4]

Rather than taking direct legislative action to improve gender representation on corporate boards in Australia, the Australian government has preferred adopting a ‘soft law’ approach that places hope on the private sector to do the right thing.[5] Contrastingly, many of Australia’s contemporaries, particularly those in Europe, have adopted a more ‘hard law’ approach through legislatively mandated gender quotas to swiftly improve gender representation on corporate boards.[6] The trailblazer in this space has certainly been Norway, which was the first country to enact gender quotas for corporate boards.[7] Is it time now for Australia to also follow Norway’s lead if it wishes to be recognised as a leader in gender equality? This essay seeks to investigate whether it is time for Australia to adopt similar hard law gender quota legislation to improve gender representation on corporate boards. To do so, it will adopt a comparative law analysis of Norway’s gender quota legislation and reflect upon the lessons from Norway’s implementation of such legislation.

Part 1 of this essay will first explore why representing women on corporate boards is necessary for Australia and the current barriers women face to organically gain the required experience and progression for senior leadership positions like directorships. Part 2 of this essay will discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of Australia's current soft legislative measures to promote increased female representation on corporate boards. Part 3 of this essay will explore Norway’s hard law gender quota legislation as a point of comparison and evaluate its effectiveness in improving gender representation on boards and the consequences for stakeholders. Finally, Part 4 intends to suggest how Australia could design and implement its own gender quota legislation for corporations by evaluating the legislation’s impact on stakeholders. Ultimately, this essay will argue that Australia should adopt a combined soft and hard law approach to improve gender representation on corporate boards.


A The Importance of Representation

1 Equality

Contemporary society is characterised by the widespread acceptance of women as equals that should have access to the same opportunities as men, both professionally and personally.[8] In fact, gender equality has been argued to be a fundamental human right, meaning there should be no justification for excluding women from the opportunities granted to men.[9] As of February 2022, women currently makeup 47.9% of all employed people in Australia.[10] The workforce participation rate is also 76.2% among women aged 15-64 compared to 83.2% of men within the same age demographic.[11]

Evidently, given the tremendous presence women command in the Australian economy, it would be counterintuitive to the notion of a just and egalitarian society if women did not have access to the same influence and power as men.[12] Therefore, directorships, by the very nature of the office, are significant positions for women due to the considerable power and influence it provides them with.[13] For example, female directors can drastically improve their social capital by linking different organisations and stakeholders together,[14] and thus cement their role as knowledge brokers with diverse networks.[15]

Furthermore, the significant power companies and boards hold in the modern, market-centric world means that gender diversity on boards plays a crucial role in redistributing power in society towards women.[16] As Spender argues, making women directors of large corporations such as those on the ASX 200 can enable them to ‘influence public debate’ and how resources are allocated in Australian society.[17] Thus, improving gender representation on corporate boards is undoubtedly justified from an equality of treatment and economic participation perspective.

2 Business Case

There is also a business case for improving gender diversity on corporate boards, given that female directors have been shown to drive greater economic value creation for companies.[18] By bringing a different and more diverse range of experiences and skills, the inclusion of female directors can result in companies making better decisions that ultimately improve the firm’s bottom line.[19] Furthermore, female directors also play a crucial role in recruiting and retaining talented female staff within a company.[20] Research conducted by the Grattan Institute estimates that improving the number of women in the Australian workforce by even 6% would result in a $25 billion increase in Australia’s GDP.[21] Resultantly, failing to appoint female directors can accentuate the severe talent shortage currently felt by companies across Australia, as it creates an additional disincentive for women to enter and remain in the workforce.[22]

However, some studies have criticised the inconclusiveness of linking a firm's economic performance to gender diversity on boards.[23] Nonetheless, it is less heavily contested that female directors can improve a company's value by focusing on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).[24] This is because female directors are typically strong supporters of ethical decision making,[25] and corporate sustainability practices,[26] both of which are key drivers of long-term firm value.

Their focus on ESG can be understood from an ethics of care lens since female directors view the company as a web of relationships (see Figure 2) that are held together by a sense of responsibility to care for and consider the interests of a multitude of stakeholders that share in the company’s space.[27] Therefore, there is a clear business case for advancing gender representation on corporate boards.[28]


Figure 1: An ethics of care governance model[29]

B The Barriers Women Continue to Face in Receiving Senior Leadership Positions

Despite the clear logic behind improving gender representation on corporate boards, women still face numerous barriers that prohibit them from becoming directors.

1 Unconscious gender bias

Unconscious gender bias is a significant and often invisible barrier that women face in the workforce that limits them from obtaining senior leadership roles such as directorships.[30] The International Labour Organisation defines unconscious gender bias as the ‘unintentional and automatic mental associations based on gender, stemming from traditions, norms, values, culture and/or experience’.[31] Consequently, women can be viewed as unsuitable for leadership positions due to deeply rooted cultural stereotypes that perpetuate their unsuitability as leaders in comparison to men.[32]

This phenomenon can also be understood from the perspective of Eagly and Karau’s ‘role congruity’ theory.[33] Unconscious gender bias causes individuals to perceive an incongruity between stereotypically female characteristics such as compassion and care with leadership roles that men have stereotypically dominated.[34] Resultantly, this mismatch causes traditionally masculine attributes and qualities like focus, competitiveness, assertiveness and risk-taking to be positively correlated with success in the business world to the detriment of talented female leaders who could get passed over during the selection of new directors.[35]

Furthermore, another particularly detrimental unconscious gender bias that women face in the workplace is affinity bias - a subconscious preference in humans towards those that ‘share similar socio-demographic, intrapersonal, and behavioral characteristics’.[36] For example, promotion within an organisation often requires sponsorship and mentorship from senior leaders, usually men, within the firm.[37] However, due to affinity bias, these senior leaders are more likely to trust and develop relationships with other men who are much like them in terms of similar interests, backgrounds and habits. [38] Meanwhile, female staff who may be more talented than their male counterparts, have difficulty connecting with senior male leaders due to their differing interests. Ultimately, they are left behind in career progression, workplace recognition and remuneration – all of which are crucial factors necessary to gain access to senior leadership positions such as directorships.[39]

2 Maternal Wall

Many women choose to have and take care of children during the time commonly associated with the formative years of their careers (their 20s-30s).[40] Yet, this adversely impacts their ‘earnings, perceptions of competence, and progression opportunities’ in the long-term, thus increasing the difficulty of obtaining leadership positions such as directorships.[41] This phenomenon has been dubbed the ‘maternal wall’, and it is also another significant barrier working mothers face in the workforce that prohibits their ability to obtain senior leadership positions.[42]

The adverse impacts that women face due to the maternal wall can be attributed to the tension they mediate between their professional and domestic roles.[43] In the private sphere, women, rather than men, are expected to take a leading role in their family’s domestic and caring responsibilities, particularly in raising children.[44] However, they are also expected to balance this against their professional responsibilities stemming from a traditionally masculine and rigid career model that ‘demands unfailing availability and a break-free linear career path’.[45] Even when flexibility towards a female employee’s caregiving responsibilities is allowed through working from home arrangements, they still miss out on the crucial face-to-face networking and bonding required to receive promotions to more senior positions.[46]

Ultimately, due to structural barriers posed by the maternal wall, it is not difficult to perceive why many women struggle to gain the experience and opportunities necessary to ascend organically into senior leadership positions like directorships.


Due to the structural barriers prohibiting the organic advancement of women towards corporate board positions, there is a clear need for legislative intervention to equalise and correct this imbalance.

A Defining Legislative Approaches

Although there is considerable complexity on the topic of regulation and how it can be classified,[47] such a discussion lies outside the scope of this essay. So instead, this essay will primarily focus on two specific methods of legislative intervention that governments can engage in – soft law and hard law.[48]

1 Soft Law

Soft law’ is essentially a non-binding regulatory directive aimed at driving policy outcomes,[49] such as ‘recommendations, guidelines, codes of conduct, non-binding resolutions, and standards’.[50] The primary advantage of soft law regulation is its flexibility and non-binding nature, which makes it easier to implement for corporations.[51] However, the primary criticism of soft law regulation is its lack of enforceability, making its ability to deliver results unreliable at times.[52]

2 Hard Law

Contrastingly, ‘hard law’ is a set of prescriptive, legally binding rules, usually in the form of legislation and used to drive policy outcomes.[53] The primary advantage of hard law regulation is its enforceability and that it can be made with the precision and detail necessary to achieve specific results.[54] However, the disadvantage of hard law regulation is the increased compliance cost for businesses,[55] and the lack of wiggle room required to adapt to changing business conditions.[56]

B Current State of Australian Gender Representation Legislation

Unlike its European counterparts that utilise hard law mechanisms, Australia has taken a soft law approach to improve gender representation that puts the onus on the private sector to take action.[57] A critical soft law pillar utilised by the Australian government is the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012,[58] which is targeted at ‘relevant employer[s]’[59] with 100 or more employees.[60] These applicable non-public sector companies must submit an annual report on ‘gender equality indicators’[61] (GEIs), such as the number of women employed and their pay and rank.[62] Organisations with over 500 employees must also be compliant with particular minimum standards set out by the Minister concerning specified GEIs through creating formal policies and strategies.[63]

Additionally, the WGE Act also establishes the Workplace Gender Equality Agency,[64] and provides them with the appropriate policing powers needed to ensure that relevant employers are compliant with the act.[65] For example, the Agency can investigate if applicable employers are accurately meeting their reporting requirements and ask for any further information it may need to ensure that relevant employers are being compliant with the act.[66] The penalties for non-compliance,[67] include publicly calling out the organisation through Agency reports and publicly naming through ‘electronic or other means’ such as through the Agency’s website.[68] Furthermore, non-compliant employers may no longer be eligible for contracts with the Commonwealth and some States.[69] This lack of eligibility may also apply to some Commonwealth grants or other sources of financial assistance.[70]

Furthermore, the ASX has also added reporting ‘if not, why not’ requirements that listed companies establish and disclose a diversity policy and justify their progress towards prescribed gender objectives such as the proportion of women on their boards.[71] This is an aspect of the ASX’s continuous disclosure requirements required under its Listing Rules,[72] and includes a 30% gender diversity board target for S&P/ASX 300 Index companies.[73] The primary penalties for non-compliance with the reporting obligations are considered to be only utilised as a last resort – a trading suspension of the entity’s securities,[74] or a termination of its listing from the ASX.[75]

C Evaluation

Despite their lack of enforceability and minor penalties, Australia’s soft law policies, such as its compulsory gender reporting requirements, have helped to progress gender diversity on boards incrementally and gradually.[76] For example, since the different ASX (2010) and WGE (2014), reporting paradigms have been active,[77] the proportion of female directors on ASX 200 boards has more than tripled from 10.7% in 2010,[78] to 34.2% as of November of 2021.[79] Furthermore, the appointment rate of new female directors has also increased from 25% in 2010 to 41.8% of appointments as of November 2021.[80]

While the improvements in board gender diversity cannot be solely credited to the gender reporting obligations on companies, its success can be understood to lie in part with soft law’s ability to support and add momentum to emerging social norms.[81] By encouraging transparency, Australia’s gender reporting disclosure regimes help initiate a public dialogue on the emerging social norm of gender diversity by exchanging and sharing gender-relevant information between a company and its market stakeholders.[82] Consequently, these market stakeholders - investors, employees and clients - can agitate for change and influence a more equitable composition of a lagging company’s corporate board that aligns with prevailing social expectations.[83] This influence also applies internally at the individual firm level as the critical mass of female leaders increases, inducing positive cultural change and best practices behaviour that lays the groundwork for other women to also reach leadership roles.[84]

However, while soft law can be effective in helping larger listed companies improve the gender diversity of their corporate boards, smaller listed companies can often fall through the compliance cracks.[85] Compared to the number of women in the labour force, the improvements to gender diversity on the boards of smaller companies are arguably too slow, especially with women only making up 32.6% of ASX300 boards and 28.7% of ASX All Ordinaries boards as of November 2021.[86] Of further concern is how 8 ASX300 boards and 67 ASX All Ordinaries boards do not have any female directors compared to no ASX200 boards without women.[87]

Due to their smaller size, scale, and lack of resources, smaller entities can struggle to adopt the required controls to implement diversity policies and facilitate accurate gender reporting.[88] Under WGE reporting, this can qualify as a ‘reasonable excuse’ for non-compliance,[89] and a sufficient justification under the ASX’s ‘if not, why not’ disclosure regime.[90]

Even where reporting is possible, there is no onus on firms to improve their board diversity issues since penalties only arise for failing to meet one’s reporting obligations rather than undertaking positive action. [91] Criticism has also been directed at the WGE’s administrative controls, given that 31 smaller non-compliant organisations that should have been barred from government tender still received $71 million worth of government contracts.[92] Furthermore, the name and shame penalties for non-compliance are less effective at agitating change for smaller entities since market stakeholders have less influence over their management.[93]

While it is predicted that soft law initiatives will result in Australian ASX300 corporate boards achieving sufficient levels of gender parity by 2030,[94] the timeframe is arguably too long especially considering that smaller companies such as those on the ASX All Ordinaries will take even longer. Therefore, hard law policies such as mandatory gender quotas can be a useful legislative tool to promptly guarantee greater gender diversity and its associated benefits on boards of smaller companies where soft law options may come up short.[95]


A What Did Norway Legislate?

In 2006, the Norwegian government became the first country to adopt a hard law approach to resolving the longstanding issue of women occupying a substantially lower number of directorship positions.[96] Specifically, through amendments to Norway’s Public Limited Companies Act,[97] a mandatory gender quota was legislated for all publicly listed corporations (PLCs) with a two year grace period for compliance.[98] The act prescribes the specific number of female directors required to be compliant though this is contingent on the size of the PLC’s board of directors (a board size of 2-9 directors).[99] For PLCs with board sizes of 10 or more directors, the act prescribes that at least 40% of the directors must be female.[100]

Despite the controversy and opposition to the hard law gender quotas,[101] universal compliance was ensured through an incremental sanctions process containing three different escalation levels.[102] Firstly, the non-compliant PLC would receive numerous warnings, which, if ignored, would result in the Business Register imposing a fine on the PLC.[103] Finally, the ultimate penalty for non-compliance is severe - the forced dissolution of the company.[104]

B Evaluation

1 Successes

Despite the numerous initiatives aimed at improving the number of female directors in Norway, such as mentorship programs and women networks, Figure 3 accentuates the existence of a glass ceiling that prevented prohibited qualified Norwegian women from obtaining senior leadership positions in the private sector.[105]


Figure 2: The effects of initiatives to increase the percentage of women on Norway’s PLC boards[106]

Consequently, the implementation of the gender quota abolished the glass ceiling by causing a clear improvement in the gender representation of Norway’s PLC boards, with the proportion of female directors increasing from 5% in 2001 to approximately 40% in 2008.[107]

Furthermore, the implementation of the gender quota also caused a greater diversity of candidates to be considered during the search for directorship positions.[108] This is beneficial for PLCs because female candidates in Norway, on average, have better educational qualifications.[109] They also have different qualifications and are typically younger, thus catalysing a ‘rethink [about] what qualifications and experiences are appropriate on boards’.[110]

A significant positive correlation was also discovered between the increased gender diversity on Norwegian PLC boards and improved ESG outcomes for the company.[111] This has been attributed to female directors being more effective at undertaking the crucial monitoring and governance role on boards than their male counterparts.[112] When considering the importance of ESG to market stakeholders in Norway, it is of little surprise then that gender-diverse boards ultimately improve a firm’s market value.[113]

2 Failures

The initial public scrutiny and backlash resulted in immediate adverse consequences for PLCs in Norway.[114] Numerous PLCs faced substantial share price drops, especially those with no female directors (-3.54%).[115] This decrease was due to the incorrect perception that incoming female directors would be inexperienced and thus cause a deterioration in the board’s capabilities.[116] Ultimately, Sierstad and Huse argue that this was due to the ‘lagged effects’ between appointment and results and was eventually corrected in the long term.[117] Furthermore, to circumnavigate the limitation on PLCs, some firms were reported to have delisted and become private companies though it is arguable that the quota was the primary driver since no evidence has proven this (See Figure 4).[118]


Figure 3: Delisting was only for M&A or bankruptcy reasons[119]

The introduction of the gender quota also resulted in the concentration of board directorships among a few highly qualified female directors dubbed ‘golden skirts’ who hold multiple board positions.[120] The emergence of the golden skirts is problematic because it contradicts the intention of the quota - the equal redistribution of power and an improvement in a board’s diversity.[121] However, this issue is largely transitory, with the number of golden skirts decreasing due to the availability of more qualified female candidates in the long term.[122]

Additionally, although the gender quota abolished the existing glass ceiling for women in Norway, it created a new one.[123] This is evidenced by female representation on PLC boards consistently remaining around ~40% since the quota’s inception (see Figure 5).[124] For example, as of 2021, female directors only accounted for 41% of board positions in Norway.[125] Consequently, it is arguable whether the equality for women in business initially envisioned by the design and implementation of the quota has been achieved. Furthermore, by taking ‘their feet off’ the gender equality ‘pedal’ since the quota’s execution, the new glass ceiling signals the dangers of an inadequate policy focus in this area.[126]


Figure 4: Percentage of Women on Corporate Boards in Norway[127]

C Lessons For Australia

1 Lesson 1

The Norway example elucidates that a hard law gender quota can effectively achieve a prompt solution to the disproportionate representation of women on corporate boards.[128] However, to ensure the quota’s success in Australia, severe penalties for non-complying firms would be necessary for the quota’s design.[129]

2 Lesson 2

From Norway’s implementation of its gender quota, many of the adverse ramifications associated with the quota primarily occurred in the short term.[130] However, given that these issues were resolved as time progressed, the focus should be on the long-term positive benefits that the quota catalyses.[131]

3 Lesson 3

The essential lesson from the Norwegian context is that to mitigate against new glass ceilings - gender equality must not lose its momentum as an area of significant policy focus for the Australian government.[132] As such, existing and new soft law initiatives should continue to supplement the existence of hard gender quotas if gender equality on corporate boards is ever to be achieved.[133]


A How Should the Australian Gender Quota Be Designed?

For the quota to be successful, it must be designed carefully with the specificities of Australia’s political, economic, and cultural conditions in mind.[134]

1 The Quota

Australia should legislatively implement a minimum 40% gender quota,[135] given that this number proportionately aligns with the current participation rate of women (62.2%) in the labour force (see Figure 6).[136] It should also be clearly defined to avoid doubt and improve legal certainty that compliance is still achieved even if the company’s board comprises a higher percentage of female directors than 40%.[137]


Figure 5: Australia's seasonally adjusted participation rate[138]

2 The Quota’s Scope?

Like Norway, the quota should only apply to public, ASX-listed companies rather than private companies. Not only are ASX-listed companies more significant to the Australian economy,[139] but targeting them will be pragmatic from an implementation and resistance perspective.[140] This is because they are used to their governance being heavily regulated compared to private companies, where personalised ownership is more valued.[141] If the gender composition of sizeable private Australian companies does not improve, there is always the option that the quota’s scope can be extended to include them in the future.[142]

3 What would the penalties be?

To ensure compliance while also considering its cost to corporations, Australia should adopt a similar three-step incremental penalty model to Norway, whereby forced dissolution – which has not occurred yet in Norway - is only used as the last resort.[143] Using initial warnings and then fines to nudge compliance before threatening dissolution aligns with the ‘responsive regulation’[144] model typically relied upon in Australian corporate law that focuses on compliance rather than punishment.[145]

An incremental model is pragmatic from an implementation perspective because, by empowering listed corporations with more control over their regulation (see Figure 7), those that are compliant and engaged are rewarded.[146] Moreover, their willingness to change their behaviour and cooperate by developing their own internal ‘system[s] of self-regulation’ also increases as they buy into achieving regulatory goals like gender equality.[147]


Figure 6: Corporate Sustainability through the lens of responsive regulation[148]

B Impact on Stakeholders?

To ensure the gender quota is successful, the adverse effects of its implementation on crucial stakeholders must also be considered alongside corresponding mitigating strategies.

1 The creation of a new 40% gender ceiling

A likely adverse impact of Australia’s gender quota implementation could be the creation of a new gender ceiling for female directors at the specified quota amount (40%) like in Norway.[149] To ensure a new 40% gender ceiling is not created, rather than soft and hard law working separately, they can work more efficiently in a mutually reinforcing manner to achieve the same policy outcomes.[150] As such, ‘if not, why not’ gender reporting should continue for firms regarding how they are continuously improving upon their measurable gender objectives rather than merely meeting them.

However, to prevent a new ceiling, extending the scope of the ASX gender reporting regime would also be necessary by requiring further disclosure of the identities and number of candidates considered for director appointments.[151] Resultantly, this will ensure greater stakeholder scrutiny over the director appointment and selection process to counteract Norway’s issue of highly qualified women missing out on directorships after the 40% quota is met.[152] This additional disclosure is also not too radical and thus should face less resistance since it is an extension of the transparency recommendations currently within the ASX Corporate Governance Principles.[153]

The government should also draw inspiration from the WGE Act and add an additional non-compliance penalty for stagnant firms that fail to meet their ASX corporate governance reporting obligations - ineligibility for lucrative government contracts.[154] However, given the current controversy with government tender still being awarded for non-compliant WGE firms,[155] current monitoring practices must be reformed to ensure the penalty’s effectiveness.[156]

2 Perceptions of Decreased Meritocracy and Increased Tokenism

Australia’s implementation of a gender quota may harm the performance and share price of listed companies due to the perception that companies would rush to hire less qualified candidates to meet quota requirements.[157] The misperception of merit could also cause risk-averse companies looking to lessen the possible fallout by nominating a few highly accomplished women to their boards who could monopolise these positions as ‘golden skirts’.[158] This can be reputationally damaging for female directors as stereotypes form that they are only ‘halfheartedly’ engaging with their directorship responsibilities.[159]

To mitigate against these issues, there is scope to utilise information and evidence from Norway’s implementation to reassure stakeholders that the adverse impacts are transitory, and that the quota is not a radical concept.[160] After all, there are many highly qualified women in the Australian labour force that would be suitable for directorships if the opportunity was granted to them.[161]

Furthermore, female directors may be more scrutinised than male counterparts due to the perception that they gained their directorship thanks to the quota rather than their merit and hard work.[162] Although these misconceptions regarding tokenism can harm board performance,[163] their impact is significantly dampened by the quota’s 40% target since it adds ‘critical mass’ to the board’s composition.[164] The excellent work that existing Australian female directors have done would also help to mitigate against such misperceptions arising against newer female board members – now and in the future.[165]

Ultimately, soft law initiatives such as female leader mentoring programs and public databases containing capable female candidates must be continued and reinforced to ensure the quota can function effectively.[166] This is because such initiatives can dismiss misconceptions that there is an inadequate supply of qualified female directors –[167] the nexus of many of the quota’s aforementioned problems.[168]


An important limitation of this essay is the lack of diverse academic sources on this topic area, meaning non-academic sources like credible Government/Institutional reports were also relied upon. Furthermore, since the comparative focus is merely on Norway, readers are encouraged to research different international contexts to better understand the ramifications of gender quotas on stakeholders. Additionally, since the focus was purely on gender representation, it is limited from an intersectionality perspective. Further research is needed on the importance of minority representation on corporate boards, such as race, culture, sexuality etc. Moreover, this essay was purely focused on improving the representation of women at the board level. Thus, the broader issue of gender equality holistically across the business is not within this essay's scope. More research will be necessary regarding the gender equality spillover effects of the gender quota to other areas of leadership, such as in middle management, which is likely to be the next frontier of the gender equality challenge.[169]


Ultimately, this essay explored the pressing issue of a lack of meaningful gender representation on corporate boards in Australia. Although soft law gender regimes have contributed to the improvement of the number of female directors in Australia, the current rate of progress is arguably too slow for smaller ASX listed companies. Consequently, a hard law gender quota could promptly produce the desired outcome. This essay suggested how a gender quota could be designed and how some of the adverse impacts on stakeholders could be mitigated through a comparative law analysis of the Norwegian context. Finally, it argued that further emphasis must be placed on a hybrid law approach where soft law initiatives augment the quota to achieve long term equitable gender representation on the boards of ASX listed corporations.

Although this essay has primarily criticised and painted a negative picture of gender representation on Australia’s corporate boards, Ginsberg’s words of hope ‘Yes, there are miles in front. But what a distance we have travelled from the day President Thomas Jefferson told his secretary of State the appointment of women to public office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared. 'Nor,' Jefferson added, 'am I'’[170] are an apt reminder of the excellent work that has been done and must continue to be done while the momentum for equitable change is still strong.

[1] Joan Biskupic, ‘Ginsburg: Court needs another woman’, USA Today (online, 5 May 2009) <>.

[2] Trilochan Sastry, ‘Exploring the role of business in society’ (2011) 23(4) IIMB Management Review 246, 246-248.

[3] See generally Karen Lyness and Donna Thompson, ‘Climbing the corporate ladder: do female and male executives follow the same route?’ (2000) 85(1) Journal of Applied Psychology 86.

[4] Xiaoxue Xiang, Jay Ingram and Joseph Cangemi, ‘Barriers Contributing to Under-Representation of Women in High-level Decision-making Roles across Selected Countries’ (2017) 35(3) Organization Development Journal 91, 98-99.

[5] Johanna Macneil and Ziheng Liu, ‘The role of organizational learning in soft regulation of workplace gender equality’ (2017) 39(3) Employee Relations 317, 317-321.

[6] Mari Teigen, ‘Chapter Eleven The “Natural” Prolongation of the Norwegian Gender Equality Policy Institution’ in Éléonore Lépinard and Ruth Rubio-Marín (eds) Transforming gender citizenship: the irresistible rise of gender quotas in Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2018) 341.

[7] Ibid 347-351.

[8] Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Gender equality and women’s empowerment strategy (Report, February 2016) 3-4.

[9] Mark McCann and Sally Wheeler, ‘Gender diversity in the FTSE 100: The business case claim explored’ (2011) 38(4) Journal of Law and Society 542, 550. See also Stephen Brammer, Andrew Millington, and Stephen Pavelin, ‘Gender and ethnic diversity among UK corporate boards’ (2007) 15(2) Corporate Governance: An International Review 393, 394-395.

[10]Gender equality workplace statistics at a glance 2022’, Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Web Page, 22 February 2022) <>.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Barnali Choudhury, ‘New rationales for women on boards’ (2014) 34(3) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 511, 519-520.

[13] BA Cox and Christian Rogerson ‘The corporate power elite in South Africa: interlocking directorships among large enterprises’ (1985) 4(3) Political Geography Quarterly 219, 222.

[14] Cathrine Seierstad and Tore Opsahl, ‘For the few not the many? The effects of affirmative action on presence, prominence, and social capital of women directors in Norway’ (2011) 27(1) Scandinavian Journal of Management 44, 52.

[15] Darlene Booth-Bell, ‘Social capital as a new board diversity rationale for enhanced corporate governance’ (2018) 18(3) Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society 452, 430-432.

[16] Choudhury (n 12) 519-521.

[17] Peta Spender, ‘Gender Diversity on boards in Australia − Waiting for the great leap forward?’ (2012) 27 Australian Journal of Corporate Law 23, 27.

[18] Jenny Hoobler et al, ‘The business case for women leaders: Meta-analysis, research critique, and path forward’ (2018) 44(6) Journal of Management 2473, 2491-2492.

[19] Alireza Vafaei, Kamran Ahmed and Paul Mather, ‘Board diversity and financial performance in the top 500 Australian firms’ (2015) 25(4) Australian Accounting Review 413, 414-415.

[20] David Matsa and Amalia Miller, ‘Chipping Away at the Glass Ceiling: Gender Spillovers in Corporate Leadership’ (2011) 101(2) American Economic Review 635, 639.

[21] John Daley, Game Changers: Economic Reform Priorities for Australia (Grattan Institute Report No. 2012-5, June 2012) 39.

[22] See, eg, Ahu Tatli, Joana Vassilopoulou and Mustafa Özbilgin, ‘An unrequited affinity between talent shortages and untapped female potential: The relevance of gender quotas for talent management in high growth potential economies of the Asia Pacific region’ (2013) 22(3) International Business Review 539; Ian Grayson, ‘Talent crunch is looming as the next big challenge’, Australian Financial Review (online, 15 March 2022) <>; Hannah Wootton, ‘Staff shortages will take three to five years to fade: KPMG’ Australian Financial Review (online, 4 January 2022) <>; Julie Hare, ‘Heated jobs market slows demand for education, training’, Australian Financial Review (online, 5 April 2022) <>.

[23] Katie Watson, ‘Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards’ (2014) 7 Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association 1, 3-4. See also Jan Luca Pletzer et al, ‘Does gender matter? Female representation on corporate boards and firm financial performance-a meta-analysis’ (2015) 10(6) PloS one e0130005:1-20, 2.

[24] Maretno Harjoto, Indrarini Laksmana and Robert Lee, ‘Board diversity and corporate social responsibility’ (2015) 132(3) Journal of Business Ethics 641, 655. See also Riadh Manita et al, ‘Board gender diversity and ESG disclosure: evidence from the USA’ (2018) 19(2) Journal of Applied Accounting Research 206, 219-220.

[25] Helena Isidro and Márcia Sobral, ‘The effects of women on corporate boards on firm value, financial performance, and ethical and social compliance’ (2015) 132(1) Journal of Business Ethics 1, 15.

[26] Muhammd Nadeem, Rashid Zaman and Irfan Saleem, ‘Boardroom gender diversity and corporate sustainability practices: Evidence from Australian Securities Exchange listed firms’ (2017) 149 Journal of Cleaner Production 149 (2017): 874, 880-882.

[27] Pervaiz Ahmed, Stuart Farquhar, and Silke Machold, ‘Corporate Governance and Ethics: A Feminist Perspective’ (2008) 81 Journal of Business Ethics 665, 674.

[28] Sabina Nielsen and Morten Huse, ‘The contribution of women on boards of directors: Going beyond the surface’ (2010) 18(2) Corporate Governance: An International Review 136, 143, 145.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Anna Genat, Robert Wood and Victor Sojo, Evaluation bias and backlash: Dimensions, predictors and implications for organisations (Report, November 2012) 4-7.

[31] International Labour Organisation, ‘Breaking barriers: Unconscious gender bias in the workplace’ (ACT/EMP Research note, Bureau for Employers' Activities, August 2017) 3.

[32] Anne Koenig et al, ‘Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-analysis of three research paradigms’ (2011) 137(4) Psychological Bulletin 616, 616.

[33] Alice Eagly and Steven Karau, ‘Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders’ (2002) 109(3) Psychological Review 573, 574-576.

[34] Kathryn Evans and Jane Maley, ‘Barriers to Women in Senior Leadership: How Unconscious Bias Is Holding Back Australia’s Economy’ (2021) 59(2) Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 204, 207-208.

[35] Sigal Barsade, ‘The ‘Masculine’ and ‘Feminine’ Sides of Leadership and Culture: Perception vs. Reality’, Knowledge at Wharton (Web Page, 5 October 2005) <>.

[36] Laura Mattia, Gender on Wall Street: Uncovering opportunities for women in financial services (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) 71-72.

[37] Diana Bilimoria, Handbook on women in business and management (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2007) 154-158. See also Jessica Fink, ‘Gender sidelining and the problem of unactionable discrimination’ (2018) 29(57) Stanford Law & Policy Review 57, 80.

[38] Evans and Maley (n 34) 208.

[39] Mattia (n 36) 72.

[40] Joan Kahn, Javier García‐Manglan and Suzanne Bianchi, ‘The motherhood penalty at midlife: Long‐term effects of children on women's careers’ (2014) 76(1) Journal of Marriage and Family 56, 67-70.

[41] Evans and Maley (n 34) 208-209.

[42] Faye Crosby, Joan Williams, and Monica Biernat, ‘The maternal wall’ (2004) 60(4) Journal of Social Issues 675, 678-680.

[43] Joan Williams and Nancy Segal, 'Beyond the Maternal Wall: Relief for Family Caregivers Who Are Discriminated against on the Job' (2003) 26 Harvard Women's Law Journal 77, 77-78.

[44] Claire-Therese Luceno, 'Maternal Wall Discrimination: Evidence Required for Litigation and Cost-Effective Solutions for a Flexible Workplace' (2006) 3(1) Hastings Business Law Journal 157, 168.

[45] Choudhury (n 12) 520-521.

[46] Martin Kornberger, Chris Carter and Anne Ross-Smith, ‘Changing gender domination in a Big Four accounting firm: Flexibility, performance and client service in practice’ (2010) 35(8) Accounting, Organizations and Society 775, 784-785.

[47] Alice Klettner, ‘Corporate governance codes and gender diversity: management-based regulation in action’ (2016) 39(2) University of New South Wales Law Journal 715, 718.

[48] Elis Tarelli, ‘The Strengths and Weaknesses of Soft Law As a Source of International Financial Regulation’ (2009) SSRN Electronic Journal 1467842:1-10, 3.

[49] Klettner (n 47) 720.

[50] Giulia Bosi, ‘Overcoming the “Soft vs Hard Law” Debate in the Development of New Global Health Instruments’, OpinioJuris (Web Page, 30 November 2021) <>.

[51] Tarelli (n 48) 4-5.

[52] Kenneth Abbott and Duncan Snidal, ‘Hard and soft law in international governance’ (2000) 54(3) International Organization 421, 447.

[53] Klettner (n 47) 716.

[54] Tarelli (n 48) 3-4.

[55] Andrew Guzman and Timothy Meyer, ‘International soft law’ (2010) 2(1) Journal of Legal Analysis 171, 177.

[56] Gregory Shaffer and Mar Pollack, 'Hard vs. Soft Law: Alternatives, Complements, and Antagonists in International Governance' (2010) 94(3) Minnesota Law Review 706, 719.

[57] Alice Klettner, Thomas Clarke and Martijn Boersma, ‘Strategic and regulatory approaches to increasing women in leadership: Multilevel targets and mandatory quotas as levers for cultural change’ (2016) 133(3) Journal of Business Ethics 395, 396.

[58] Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (‘WGE Act’).

[59] Ibid s 3(1) (definition of ‘relevant employer’).

[60] Kate Stary, ‘Gender Diversity Quotas On Australian Boards: Is It In The Best Interests Of The Company?’ (Research Paper, University of Melbourne Law School Centre For Corporate Law, 2015) 6.

[61] WGE Act (n 58) s 3(1) (definition of ‘gender equality indicators’).

[62] Ibid s 13.

[63] Workplace Gender Equality (Minimum Standards) Instrument 2014 (Cth) s 5.

[64] Ibid s 8A(1).

[65] Ibid s 10.

[66] Tony Cardillo, ‘New obligations on employers imposed by the Workplace Gender Equality Act(2013) 65(4) Keeping Good Companies 236, 236.

[67] WGE Act (n 58) s 19D.

[68] Cardillo (n 66) 238.

[69] ‘What if my organisation does not comply or is made non-compliant?’, Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Web Page, 12 August 2021) <>.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Stary (n 60) 7.

[72] ASX, Listing Rules (at 1 December 2019) 4.10.3.

[73] ASX, ‘Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations - 4th Edition’, ASX Corporate Governance Council (Web Page, February 2019) 9-10 <>.

[74] ASX (n 72) 17.3.1.

[75] Ibid 17.12.

[76] Klettner (n 47) 738-739.

[77] PWC, 10 minutes on...Workplace gender equality reporting (Report, August 2014) 2.

[78] Matt Orsagh, ‘Women on Corporate Boards: Global Trends for Promoting Diversity’, CFA Institute (Webpage, 24 September 2014) <>.

[79] Australian Institute of Company Directors, ‘Board Diversity’, Board Diversity Statistics (Web Page, 08 December 2021) <,ASX%20200%20boards%20in%202019.&text=Source%3A%20Research%20conducted%20by%20the%20Australian%20Institute%20of%20Company%20Directors>.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Klettner (n 47) 737-738.

[82] Archon Fung, Mary Graham and David Weil, Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (Cambridge University Press, 2007) 153-154.

[83] See, eg, Robert Kagan, Neil Gunningham and Dorothy Thornton, ‘Explaining corporate environmental performance: how does regulation matter?’ (2003) 37(1) Law & Society Review 51, 68-69; Seierstad and Opsahl (n 14) 45; Klettner, Clarke and Boersma (n 57) 416.

[84] Alice Klettner, Thomas Clarke and Martijn Boersma, ‘The impact of soft law on social change: Measurable objectives for achieving gender diversity on boards of directors’ (2013) 28(2) Australian Journal of Corporate Law 138, 164. See also Klettner, Clarke and Boersma (n 57) 396.

[85] PWC (n 77) 4.

[86] Australian Institute of Company Directors (n 79).

[87] Ibid.

[88] James Woodcock and Rosalind H. Whiting, ‘Intellectual Capital Disclosures by Australian Companies’ (Accountancy Working Paper Series No. 7, AFAANZ Conference, July 2009) 19.

[89] WGE Act (n 58) s 19D(1).

[90] KPMG, ASX Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations on Diversity: Analysis of Disclosures for financial years ended between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015 (Report, 2016) 40.

[91] Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, Submission to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (24 November 2021) 16.

[92] David Crowe, ‘Flouting discrimination rules no barrier to winning government contracts’, The Sydney Morning Herald (online, 21 March 2021) <>.

[93] Nagib Salem Bayoud, Marie Kavanagh and Geoff Slaughter, ‘Factors influencing levels of corporate social responsibility disclosure Libyan firms: A mixed study’ (2012) 4(4) International Journal of Economics and Finance 13, 20-21.

[94] Kate Hilder, Siobhan Doherty, Mark Standen, ‘Still stubbornly pale: Study finds ASX 300 boards are lagging on cultural diversity’, MinterEllison (Web Page, 04 August 2021) <>.

[95] Spender (n 17) 23-24. See also Stary (n 60) 31.

[96] Lars Bevanger, ‘New Law in Norway Gives Businesswomen a Boost’, DW News (online, 02 January 2006) <>.

[97] Allmennaksjeloven [Public Limited Companies Act of 13 June 1997 No. 45] (Norway) §6.11a [tr Schjødt].

[98] Cathrine Seierstad, and Morten Huse, ‘Gender Quotas on Corporate Boards in Norway: Ten Years Later and Lessons Learned’ in Cathrine Seierstad, Patricia Gabaldon and Heike Mensi-Klarbach (eds), Gender Diversity in the Boardroom Volume 1: The Use of Different Quota Regulations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) 25.

[99] Allmennaksjeloven (n 97) §6.11a(1).

[100] Ibid.

[101] Obianuju Chike-anamdi, ‘Addressing Gender Imbalance on Boards of State-Owned Enterprises in Ireland through Regulatory Intervention: A Hard and Soft Law Perspective’ (PhD Thesis, University of Dublin, June 2016) 173.

[102] Mari Teigen, ‘Gender Quotas on Corporate Boards: On the Diffusion of a Distinct National Policy Reform’ in Fredrik Engelstad and Mari Teigen (eds), Firms, Boards and Gender Quotas: Comparative Perspectives (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012) 124.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Bjorn Eckbo, Knut Nygaard and Karin Thorburn, ‘Valuation effects of Norway’s board gender-quota law revisited’ (Finance Working Paper No 463/2016, European Corporate Governance Institute, January 2021) 6.

[105] Morten Huse, ‘The “Golden Skirts”: Changes in board composition following gender quotas on corporate boards’ (Conference Paper, Australian and New Zealand Academy Meeting, 7 December 2011) 4.

[106] Ibid 18.

[107] Eckbo, Nygaard and Thorburn (n 104) 7.

[108] Seierstad and Huse (n 98) 29.

[109] Cathrine Seierstad, ‘Beyond the business case: The need for both utility and justice rationales for increasing the share of women on boards’ (2016) 24(4) Corporate Governance: An International Review 390, 396.

[110] Ibid 397.

[111] Muhammad Azeem Qureshi et al, ‘The impact of sustainability (environmental, social, and governance) disclosure and board diversity on firm value: The moderating role of industry sensitivity’ (2019) 29(3) Business Strategy and The Environment 1199, 1213.

[112] Renée Adams and Daniel Ferreira, ‘Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance’ (2009) 94(2) Journal of Financial Economics 291, 292.

[113] Qureshi et al (n 101) 1213.

[114] Kenneth Ahern and Amy Dittmar, ‘The changing of the boards: The impact on firm valuation of mandated female board representation’ (2012) 127(1) The Quarterly Journal of Economics 137, 144-145.

[115] Ibid 139-141.

[116] Marina Gertsberg, Johanna Mollerstrom, Michaela Pagel, ‘Gender Quotas and Support For Women in Board Elections’ (Working Paper No 28463, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2021) 3.

[117] Seierstad and Huse (n 98) 31-32. See also Morten Huse, ‘The Norwegian gender balance law—A benchmark?’ in Marc De Vos and Phillipe Culliford (eds), Gender quotas for company boards (Intersentia, March 2014) 185.

[118] Knut Nygaard, ‘Forced board changes: Evidence from Norway’ (Discussion Paper, The Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, March 2011) 14. See also Eckbo, Nygaard and Thorburn (n 104) 4.

[119] Eckbo, Nygaard and Thorburn (n 104) 32.

[120] Yasaman Sarabi and Matthew Smith, ‘Busy female directors: an exploratory analysis of the impact of quotas and interest groups’ (2021) 36(3) Gender in Management 368, 370.

[121] Seierstad and Opsahl (n 14) 48.

[122] Seierstad and Huse (n 98) 30-31. See also Anne Sweigart, ‘Women on board for change: The Norway model of boardroom quotas as a tool for progress in the United States and Canada’ (2012) 32(4) Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business 81A, 103A

[123] Drude Dahlerup and Lenita Freidenvall, ‘Judging gender quotas: predictions and results’ (2010) 38(3) Policy & Politics 407, 415.

[124] Trond Løyning, ‘Regulating for gender equality in business: the law on gender quotas and the network of interlocking directorates in Norway, 2008–2016’ (2021) Review of Social Economy 1, 22.

[125] European Women on Boards, Gender Diversity Index of Women On Boards And In Corporate Leadership (Report, 20 January 2022) 33.

[126] Cathrine Seierstad et al, ‘A “quota silo” or positive equality reach? The equality impact of gender quotas on corporate boards in Norway’ (2021) 31(1) Human Resource Management Journal 165, 183.

[127] Teigen (n 6) 350.

[128] See, eg, Seierstad et al (n 126) 181-182; Chike-anamdi (n 101) 176, 178-179; Løyning (n 124) 22.

[129] Ragnhildur Erna Arnórsdóttir, ‘Gender Quotas on Corporate Boards in Iceland: Attitudes within the Icelandic business community’ (MSc Thesis, Copenhagen Business School, August 2012) 76.

[130] Nina Smith, Gender quotas on boards of directors (Report, December 2018) 7-9.

[131] Morten Huse, ‘Getting Women on to Corporate Boards’, BI Business Review (Web Page, 7 March 2014) <>.

[132] Casper Mose Hansen and Clementina Chifuel Manasseh, ‘Breaking the glass ceiling: How to increase diversity in boards of directors in small and medium-sized enterprises in Denmark’ (LLM Thesis, Malmö University, 2021) 33-34.

[133] Remus Valsan, ‘Strategizing Boardroom Gender Diversity’, Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law Blog (Blog Post, 19 May 2017) <>. See also Heike Mensi‐Klarbach and Cathrine Seierstad, ‘Gender quotas on corporate boards: Similarities and differences in quota scenarios’ (2020 17(3) European Management Review 615, 625.

[134] Silke Machold and Katrin Hansen, ‘Policy approaches to gender diversity on boards: an introduction to characteristics and determinants’ in Silke Machold et al (eds), Getting Women on to Corporate Boards –A Snowball Starting in Norway (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2013) 168-169.

[135] Peta Spender, ‘Gender Quotas on Boards - Is It Time for Australia to Lean In?’ [2015] DeakinLawRw 5; (2015) 20(1) Deakin Law Review 95, 130.

[136] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force, Australia, Aug 2020 (Catalogue No 6202.0, 14 April 2022).

[137] Mensi‐Klarbach and Seierstad (n 133) 617.

[138] Australian Bureau of Statistics (n 136).

[139] Spender (n 17) 27.

[140] Aagoth Storvik, ‘Women on boards–experience from the Norwegian quota reform’ (2011) 9(1) CESifo DICE Report 34, 36.

[141] Aagoth Storvik and Mari Teigen, Women on board: The Norwegian Experience (Report, June 2010) 4.

[142] Seierstad et al (n 126) 183.

[143] Spender (n 135) 120.

[144] See generally Ian Ayres and John Braithwaite, Responsive Regulation: Transcending the Deregulation Debate (Oxford University Press, 1992).

[145] See, eg, Vijaya Nagarajan, Discretion and Public Benefit in a Regulatory Agency (ANU Press, 2013) 163; Vicky Comino, 'Towards better corporate regulation in Australia' (2011) 26(1) Australian Journal of Corporate Law 1, 7; Aakash Desai and Ian Ramsay, ‘The Use of Infringement Notices by ASIC for Alleged Continuous Disclosure Contraventions: Trends and Analysis’ (Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 547, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, 2011) 22-23.

[146] Tessa Wright and Hazel Conley, ‘Advancing gender equality in the construction sector through public procurement: Making effective use of responsive regulation’ (2020) 41(3) Economic and Industrial Democracy 975, 980.

[147] John Howe and Ingrid Landau, ‘”Light Touch” Labour Regulation By State Governments In Australia: A Preliminary Assessment’ (Working Paper No 40, Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, The University of Melbourne, December 2006) 25.

[148] Dianne Bolton, Terry Landells and Bradley Roberts, ‘Sustainable Governance and Responsive Regulation: The Higher Education Sector and Maritime Industry in Australia’ (2020) 2(3) Journal of Sustainability Research 1, 14.

[149] Seierstad and Huse (n 98) 28.

[150] Klettner, Clarke and Boersma (n 84) 165.

[151] OECD, Professionalising Boards of Directors of State-Owned Enterprises: Stocktaking of National Practices (Report, 2018) 31.

[152] Marianne Bertrand et al, ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The Effect of Board Quotas on Female Labour Market Outcomes in Norway’ (2019) 86(1) The Review of Economic Studies 191, 193, 228.

[153] ASX (n 73) 12-15.

[154] Spender (n 135) 118-119.

[155] Miriam Glennie et al, Gender pay gap reporting in Australia Time for an upgrade (Report, October 2021) 29 <>.

[156] Wright and Conley (n 146) 988.

[157] Stary (n 60) 19-20.

[158] Mehdi Nekhili et al, ‘Gender‐diverse Boards and Audit Fees: What Difference Does Gender Quota Legislation Make?’ (2020) 47(1-2) Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 52, 58-59.

[159] Sweigart (n 122) 92A.

[160] Chike-anamdi (n 101) 173-174. See also Seierstad and Opsahl (n 14) 52.

[161] See generally Australian Human Rights Commission, Our experiences in elevating the representation of women in leadership: A letter from business leaders (Report, 1 November 2011). See also Government of Western Australia, Being Board Ready: A Guide For Women (Report, June 2021) 2.

[162] Sweigart (n 122) 94A.

[163] Stary (n 60) 21.

[164] Beate Elstad and Gro Ladegard, ‘Women on corporate boards: key influencers or tokens?’ (2012) 16(4) Journal of Management & Governance 595, 611-613.

[165] Stary (n 60) 21.

[166] Chike-anamdi (n 101) 183-186.

[167] Ibid 186.

[168] International Labour Organisation, Improving gender diversity in company boards (Report, 2020) 5. See also Claire Barnes et al, ‘Women Directors on FTSE Company Boards: An Exploration of the Factors Influencing Their Appointment’ (2019) 6(1) Cogent Psychology 1691848:1-24, 9.

[169] Klettner (n 47) 735-736.

[170] Biskupic (n 1).

AustLII: Copyright Policy | Disclaimers | Privacy Policy | Feedback