The Government recognises and supports the benefits of improved gender balance on boards.
Government's state sector goal
The Government has committed to increasing women’s participation to 45 percent on state sector boards and committees. Over the last nine years participation rates have ranged from 40.5 percent to 42.3 percent. As at 20 December 2014, 41.7 percent of Ministerial appointees to state sector boards were women.
The Ministry monitors the gender of appointees to state sector boards and committees. A report is prepared annually. The data is available by responsible adminstering department and the name of the board or committee.
Government's private sector goal
The Government's goal is for an increase in women's participation on private boads and leadership, but leaves it up to the private sector to determine an appropriate target.
Despite a strong and growing body of evidence to suggest that gender diversity is of direct benefit to business performance, women are under-represented in senior management and on boards. According to the Human Rights Commission's 2012 New Zealand Census of Women’s Participation, women hold 14.75 percent of private sector directorships.
Increasing momentum for gender diversity
Gender diversity is being actively championed in the private sector by many organisations including, the Institute of Directors in New Zealand, the New Zealand Shareholders Association, Global Women, and NZX.
NZX operates New Zealand's stock market. NZX introduced a gender diversity listing rule, approved by the Financial Markets Authority, at the end of 2012. This move recognises the commercial benefit of gender diversity to New Zealand's share market and increasing demand from investors for information about a company's gender diversity - as an indicator of a company's vitality, future prospects and resilience.