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Gender quotas extended to boards of 7 major Government Business Enterprises

The Government has announced an extension of its election promise to have women appointed to
40 per cent of government board positions by enforce gender quotas on the boards of its major
business operations – including NBN Co, Australia Post, Medibank, Australian Rail Track Corporation,
Australian Submarine Corporation, Defence Housing Australia and the
Australian Government Solicitor.

The Government has given all its boards until 2015 to meet the requirement for women to occupy at least 40% of all Government board positions, after which the target will be reviewed.

There
are 476 boards across all federal departments, on which women make up
33.3 per cent of all directors. The ratio for the government business
enterprise sector is 29 per cent.

The Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Penny Wong, made the announcement this week and had previously declared her support for the ASX diversity guidelines, adding that with so many companies
requiring prior board experience, the Government could play a role by helping women secure their first board appointment on one of the many Government boards.  

On this issue of quotas, I’m currently compiling a list of gender balance targets and quotas from around the world – if you have any insights to share, links to research surveys or information about what your organisation is doing, please drop me a line.

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