Ten long years of retrofitting corporate cultures, changing policies and working hard to build more diverse candidate pools has brought us to the point where women make up almost a third of S&P/ASX 200 company boards.

According to the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ recent data, women represent 29.7 per cent of S&P/ASX 200 boards, up from a low 8.9 per cent in 2009, and a new stretch target of 40 per cent over three years suggests ongoing growth is desired.

But four of these companies still don’t have any women on their boards.

So would it look much different if we could design the system from scratch? It turns out, not much. In fact, worse.

When looking at the burgeoning start-up ecosystem in Australia, more than six in ten – or 62 per cent – don’t have any women on their boards, according to research released today by KPMG High Growth Ventures. When removing the ventures founded by women (who all have at least one board member, for obvious reasons), this statistic rises to 73 per cent.

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