The Equal Employment Opportunities Trust is praising the NZX for adopting a gender diversity rule and says it makes good business sense.
The EEO Trust's chair, Michael Barnett says local and international research shows there are many benefits of capturing diversity through having more women at governance level on publicly listed companies.
"I hope this motivates more companies to look at their boards and realize how few women they have around the table and make some changes."
Mr Barnett says even though the NZX says it is a voluntary code for companies to disclose in their annual reports the number of women on their boards and in senior management positions he strongly encourages them to do so.
"Currently women hold about 9% of private sector directorships in New Zealand and 21% of management positions reporting directly to the CEO."
But Mr Barnett says the majority of the NZX 100 companies have NO female directors and challenges them to start immediately working on changing this statistic as long as appointments are made on the basis of merit.
"The Trust does not want companies to employ a woman at a senior level because they feel they should - there are plenty of highly qualified women who can make a positive difference to the company's culture and bottom line."
Mr Barnett says the EEO Trust made a submission on the NZX's gender policy proposal last year and in it said the Diversity Listing Rule is about continuing to improve the country's business environment.