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THE NEWS WRAP: Big business still missing the mark on gender diversity

Friday, 27 September 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Women on Boards has ranked Australia’s top 200 listed companies, finding that just 16% met gender diversity standards and 31 showed little interest in the issue at all.


Aside from board and management representation, the survey also ranked companies on promotions for women, paid parental leave and gender diversity.


Commonwealth Bank, Aurizon, Telstra, Stockland and Woolworths performed the strongest in the survey, with the mining and pharmaceuticals sectors performing poorly.


“The largest percentage of companies that have the fewest women on their boards are headquartered in Western Australia,” says Women on Boards executive director Claire Braund.


“It's really important for the country that when you have people and when you have trained them up that you don't simply lose them because they did something as simple as having a baby.”


Abbott government’s Christmas ‘fracking’ pledge


The Abbott government has announced it is intervening to fast-track coal seam gas projects in New South Wales, promising to get new rigs in place “by Christmas”.


“We've got to sort this out quickly,” Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane says.


"We've got to get the drill rigs going, where the farmers want them going, where the geology's safe, where the water's safe, where the environment's safe. We've got to get them going by Christmas if we can.”


NAB announces small ‘smart’ branch plan


National Australia Bank has opened the first of its smaller ‘smart’ branches in Melbourne, with a quarter less floor space than its traditional shopfronts.


The branches use iPads, smartphones, wide-screen televisions and bench-sized tablet computers for transactions, which the banks claims will free up staff to have conversations with customers.


However, the bank admits the rollout of its smart branches will mean a “small reduction” in staff.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.4% to 15328.3. The Aussie dollar is up to US93.67 cents.