Women’s minister Paula Bennett announced today that the government has not only managed to reach one of its key gender targets – it’s actually exceeded it.
In 2011, the government challenged itself to reach 45 per cent female representation across state sector boards and committees. Now, women make up 45.3 per cent – the highest percentage ever.
“There’s still more work to be done in the state sector but this is a real milestone,” said Bennett. “I’m now determined to not only maintain this level but increase it even further.”
With the government now leading by example, Bennett called on private sector employers to follow suit so they too can reap the rewards of workplace diversity.
“The boards of NZX-listed companies still only have 17 per cent women and that’s quite frankly not good enough,” she said. “Research shows the benefits of gender diversity on boards. I’m now challenging the private sector to catch up.”
The gender stocktake of state sector boards and committees is undertaken annually by the Ministry for Women – it counts the ministerial appointments to state sector boards and committees as of 31 December 2016.
“We need to continue to encourage and support women into leadership roles,” added Bennett. “I encourage all New Zealand organisations to strive for greater diversity in their workforce and leadership.”
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