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Press Release – Equal Employment Opportunities Trust

The Equal Employment Opportunities Trust is celebrating changes to the New Zealand Stock exchange rules that come into effect from NOW and is urging companies to endorse them. In their future annual reports listed companies will have to provide a breakdown …
03 December 2012.

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The Equal Employment Opportunities Trust is celebrating changes to the New Zealand Stock exchange rules that come into effect from NOW and is urging companies to endorse them.

In their future annual reports listed companies will have to provide a breakdown of gender composition at board and executive level, and compare it to the previous year. If companies have a formal diversity policy, they will also have to show an evaluation of their performance on that front.

The EEO Trust’s chair, Michael Barnett, says research shows that diversity in management and governance can play a big part in improving a company’s performance. “Currently fewer than 15 percent of directors in the top listed 100 companies are women.

I am asking boards and chief executives to acknowledge the value and importance of having more women in higher positions, based on merit.

There are plenty of skilled and educated women who deserve to be included in companies talent pipelines. ” Mr Barnett says it is pleasing to see that a number of large corporate companies are doing this, but many others are not.

Mr Barnett says a recent census report from the Human Rights Commission shows that the number of women in senior positions has risen by a couple of percent over the last two years and wants that momentum to continue, but at a faster pace.

“I am urging all companies – be they private or state sector – to look at appointing more women on boards as I believe it will result in better morale, increased profits and productivity.”

Mr Barnett says the EEO Trust has resources and advice for businesses who want to support more women in senior roles. “With the ageing population and looming skills shortage it makes good business sense to cultivate 51 percent of the population that is sometimes underutilised.”
ENDS

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