Mainfreight appoints two women CFOs as non-executive directors

"We have been on the lookout for appropriate individuals to bring on to Mainfreight's board for some time," chairman Bruce Plested said.

Mainfreight, the transport and logistics group, said two women, Kate Parsons and Sue Tindal, will join the company as non-executive directors starting on Jan. 1.

The company came under pressure to renew its board at its annual meeting last July. At the time Radio New Zealand reported there was a tense exchange between Mainfreight chairman Bruce Plested and a representative of the New Zealand Super Fund. Plested reportedly said there was no succession plan but the company was committed to refreshing the board with new members at some point.

In a release to the NZX today, Plested said: "We have been on the lookout for appropriate individuals to bring on to Mainfreight's board for some time."

Mainfreight said Ms Parsons has more than 20 years' finance experience in a number of industries both in New Zealand and overseas, including a number of chief financial officer roles. Ms Tindal is group chief financial officer at Auckland Council and has held numerous senior executive roles at Westpac Banking Corp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Both will stand for election as the first women on the board at Mainfreight's annual shareholders' meeting on July 27. 

In October, leadership lobby group Global Women said it wants to see a minimum target of 30% female board composition of NZX-listed companies as a best-practice standard benchmarked globally by 2020. According to New Zealand's gender diversity statistics, women comprise 16% of board members and 28% of senior management officers as at December 2015. That compares to 21.5% of women on ASX 200 boards and 26% on the UK's FTSE 100 boards.

This week telecommunications network operator Chorus appointed Kate McKenzie as its next chief executive, making her the only woman to head an S&P/NZX 50 index company.

Mainfreight shares rose 0.7% to $20.76.


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