Good governance in Aotearoa New Zealand means that women are present in leadership and governance roles at all levels. We know that women have the skills and talents to succeed and lead us into the future.
We need to identify, support, and grow future generations of women in governance in Aotearoa New Zealand, and encourage them to take the next step into governance roles.
Research shows that when women and men work together on boards, there is better governance and economic performance results. Governance boards that are more gender diverse consider a wider range of issues and perspectives and generate more innovative solutions.
One measure of success is the number of women on public sector boards and committees. In 2022, we saw women hold 53.1% of public sector boards and committee roles. Women also hold 55.9% of senior management roles (Tiers 1 – 3) in the public sector, including 48.8% of Tier 1 roles (as at 30 October 2023).
However, women are currently under-represented in governance and leadership roles in the private sector, with women holding 28.5% of all director positions and 26.4% of executive management positions across the NZX-listed companies (as at 31 July 2022).
It is also critical that we recognise the contribution of women in the community and voluntary sectors who are not as frequently recognised.
There are many benefits to having women in governance roles:
- Diversity of thought: a diverse leadership team will consider a wider range of issues from a variety of perspectives and generate more innovative solutions.
- Higher education and qualifications: women have higher participation and completion rates in tertiary education compared to men, and they are increasingly out-numbering men in education achievement.
- Representation: research shows that the interests of women, children, and families are more likely to be considered by women, which could lead to decisions or policies with better outcomes.
Our Nominations Service:
- supports women to start their governance careers and advises women enrolled on our nominations database about vacancies on public sector boards and committees
- supports public sector agencies with a board vacancy to find high-calibre women candidates
- works to maintain women’s representation at a minimum of 50% for Minister-appointed roles on public sector boards and communities
- works to increase the gender and ethnic representation on these boards
- works with other government agencies and organisations that also provide nominations services to Ministers and government agencies seeking to fill board vacancies
- undertakes an annual stocktake of Gender, Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Diversity on Public Sector Boards and Committees.
- maintains the Learning Leadership Hub, a centralised place showcasing a range of courses and resources to grow your leadership and governance skills in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We encourage women, as appropriate, to also consider joining these agency databases:
- Ministry for Ethnic Communities
- Ministry for Pacific Peoples
- Te Puni Kōkiri Ministry of Māori Development - Governance and Appointments
- Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People
- The Treasury (preferably women with significant board experience)