The Australian Institute of Company Directors today joined with the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, to announce the recipients of the inaugural board diversity scholarships for women in rural and remote areas.
Jointly funded by Company Directors and the Australian Government, the awards are part of the broader Board Diversity Scholarship program that allows high performing women across Australia to complete Company Directors’ highly-regarded educational courses. Recipients will also receive a free 12 month membership of Company Directors and a $2000 contribution towards travel expenses.
More than 300 women from rural and remote areas in all states and territories applied for the program, with the 30 recipients selected based on their experience and leadership potential by a committee of representatives from Company Directors and the Australian Government’s Office for Women.
“The calibre of applicants shows the depth of skill that exists outside our major metropolitan areas. The recipients – who reside in areas from Alice Springs to Mt Isa, Broome and Bourke – all have a strong commitment to their communities and a desire to apply the highest standard of governance to local organisations,” said John Colvin, Chief Executive and Managing Director, of Company Directors.
The rural and remote scholarships were the first of 140 to be awarded in this round of the Board Diversity Scholarship program. Applications for another 70 scholarships for women who are ready to transition from their executive career to a board career will open on September 10. The final 40 scholarships will be awarded to females in male-dominated sectors, with applications due to open in February 2015.
The scholarship program is one of several initiatives by Company Directors to support board diversity. Other initiatives include its Chairmen’s Mentoring Program, a Public Sector Mentoring Program, its Director Pipeline Project and the Victorian Women’s Governance Scholarship program.
Real time statistics compiled by Company Directors show that in recent years the number of women on our top boards has grown from around 8 per cent in 2008 to 18.2 per cent at July 31 this year.
“We are confident that our initiatives will further lift female representation on boards across all organisations – from listed companies to private companies, charities and the not-for-profit sector,” Mr Colvin said.