WA supports International Women's Day

08/03/2018 - 12:07

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Fourteen females have been inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame today as part of International Women’s Day, while a new report out reveals a spike in female board appointments to start the year.

WA supports International Women's Day
Nicola Forrest was inducted into the WA Women's Hall of Fame.

Fourteen females have been inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame today as part of International Women’s Day, while a new report out reveals a spike in female board appointments to start the year.

Among the women honoured today was Minderoo Foundation chief executive Nicola Forrest, agribusiness consultant Sue Middleton and Aboriginal psychologist Tracey Westerman.

Ms Forrest has overseen Minderoo commit $645 million to philanthropic initiatives, including early childhood development, arts, culture, modern slavery and cancer research.

Ms Middleton holds a number of board positions, including with the Grains Research Development Council, Rural Net and Country Arts WA.

As a leader in the areas of culturally specific assessments, and cultural competence training, Ms Westerman has self-funded research, and developed unique screening tools that have enabled the identification of Aboriginal people at the early stages of suicide and mental health risk.

Patricia Barblett, Hazel Butorac, Diana Bryant, Helen Creed, Terrie Gomboc, Kelly Howlett, Ann O’Neill, Christobel Saunders, Suzanne Urbaniak, Gina Williams and Irene Hooper were also inducted into the hall of fame.

Meanwhile a report by the Australia Institute of Company Directors has shown women accounted for 47 per cent of ASX 200 board appointments in the first two months of 2018, compared with 36 per cent in the previous year.

The Quarterly Gender Diversity report also shows women account for 26.7 per cent of ASX 200 directorships, with the AICD targeting 30 per cent by the end of the year.

There are only five ASX 200 boards with no women, with Pilbara Minerals being the sole Western Australian representative.

Pilbara has experienced rapid growth in the past year as the company develops its Pilgangoora lithium project in WA.

AICD chairman Elizabeth Proust cautiously welcomed today’s results.

“Today’s report reveals that 2018 has seen the highest rate of female appointments to ASX 200 boards since the AICD began tracking gender diversity statistics,” she said.

“While this news is encouraging, it is only reflective of the first two months of 2018.

We’ll need sustained momentum of this kind if we are to reach our goal of 30% female representation across the ASX 200 by the end of the year.”

Women’s Interests Minister Simone McGurk has marked International Women’s Day by calling for more to be done to achieve gender equality.

The state government is running an eight-day social media campaign under the mantra ‘press for progress’.

“International Women’s Day is a time to acknowledge the women who have shown great leadership as well as reflect on the work still to be done to achieve gender equality,” Ms McGurk said.

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