More women on public boards

Membership of all state sector boards will be evenly represented by women and men by 2021, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today.

“This Government is committed to increasing women in leadership across all boards in New Zealand and we are leading by example,” said Ms Genter speaking at a Women in Leadership symposium in Auckland.

“We will ensure half of all directors on state sector boards and committees are women by 2021.” 

More than 2,600 appointments are made to state sector boards every year. These include large SOEs, conservation boards and community trusts. 

The Government today released the latest Gender stocktake of state sector boards and committees which shows record high level of women’s participation. As at the end of 2017, women represented 45.7 percent of state sector boards and committees, but Ms Genter said the Government was more ambitious for women than that.

“By making sure the public sector has equal representation at the top, we hope to inspire the private sector to lift its game. 

“We’re issuing a challenge across New Zealand to change current workplace cultures and support women into leadership roles, not just because that’s the fair thing to do, but also because diversity helps organisations function more effectively.

“More diverse leadership in organisations results in better decision making, better organisational resilience and better performance. It also opens up more opportunities for women to succeed and contributes to a more inclusive and fairer society.

“Many men I have spoken to acknowledge the importance of diversity and are becoming champions for change. These men are helping to mentor and recruit women for leadership roles. This is essential to achieving more diversity.

“The Government is also investigating collecting ethnicity data. This would give us better information about ethnicity of our boards with a view to ensure diversity and representation of all New Zealanders,” said Ms Genter.

The gender stocktake is undertaken annually by the Ministry for Women. It counts the ministerial appointments to state sector boards and committees as at 31 December of the previous year. The Ministry of Women runs a nomination service to connect women with governance position opportunities. 

Read in full:

Gender Stocktake of State Sector Boards and Committees

Women in Governance 2017