Former Kiama mayor Sandra McCarthy chosen by directors

Former Kiama mayor Sandra McCarthy.

Former Kiama mayor Sandra McCarthy.

KIAMA'S Sandra McCarthy is one of 30 rural women to receive a new scholarship offered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The announcement was made this week by the Assistant Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash.

The scholarships are jointly funded by company directors and the Australian government as part of the broader Board Diversity Scholarship Program.

The initiative is about allowing high performing women from across Australia to complete AICD's 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 regional areas in all states and territories applied for the program. The former Kiama mayor was one of 30 recipients selected based on their experience and leadership potential by a committee of representatives from AICD and the Australian government's Office for Women.

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 careers to board careers will open on September 10.

The final 40 scholarships will be awarded to women in male-dominated sectors, with applications to open in February 2015.

Recent statistics show that in recent years the number of women on the top boards in Australia has grown from around 8 per cent in 2008 to 18.2 per cent by July 31, 2014.

The latest AICD initiative is about further lifting female representation on boards across all organisations.