NZX, ASX technology companies equally dismal for boardroom diversity

Clare Capital takes stock of the gender split.
The High Tech Awards featured a lot of female winners. But at boardroom level, it's a different story (montage: @nzvorn)

The annual High Tech Awards, held in Christchurch on Friday night, were something of a triumph of diversity.

Lawyer turned managing director and tech investor Sacha Judd tweeted that was something of a turnaround:

Clare Capital general manager Vicky Upton agreed, emailing clients "It was wonderful to see so many women on stage (both winning and presenting awards."

Ms Upton thought it would be timely for her company to analyse the makeup of boards for ASX and NZX-listed companies.

The news wasn't so flash.

There might be more women from the tech industry picking up awards, but the boardroom stats for technology companies on both sides of the Tasman are dismal, from a gender diversity point-of-view:

Source: Clare Capital, via ASX, NZX data

Clare Capital also found that of 206 listed technology companies over the two exchanges:

► None have a majority of women.

► Only three have an equal gender split.

Clare also found there are only nine women board members across 15 NZX tech companies.

Seven of those 15 companies' boards have no women and seven other boards have only one woman.

(NBR, in case you're wondering, has two men and two women on its board.)

A number of views on the boardroom diversity have been aired on NBR recently.

Some have argued for purely merit-based selection criteria.

Others have quoted research from McKinsey and others that companies with more diverse boards make larger profits on average, and that a diverse mix of directors tends to be a better reflection of a business's customer base out in the real world.

Click the links below to see more on those discussions, or leave a comment below to add your view.

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