The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has today welcomed figures that show the highest ever percentage of women on state sector boards and committees.
The 2015 Ministry for Women Gender Stocktake Report shows the number of women ministerial appointments to state sector boards and committees was 43.4%, as at 31 December 2015.
This is a significant increase from 41.7% for the year ending December 2014, a figure which had essentially stagnated for over 10 years.
EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says the result is very pleasing and Ministers need to be congratulated for being focused on improving the gender balance.
“At this current rate of progress, I’m confident that we will be able to reach the Government’s 45% target by the end of 2017, and exceed it in future.
“There is growing evidence that shows the value that gender diversity and balance can add when making board decisions in both the public and private sector, which is why it is vital that we build upon these results.
“I would like to see the target of having 50% women ministerial appointments reinstated and deliberate affirmative action taken to place women in these roles, as and when they become available, to ensure we meet that goal.
“It’s also important that our boards reflect our rapidly changing demographics. I would like to see that the gender stocktake is broadened to include ethnicity data.
“The Commission is working to ensure New Zealand businesses are doing their part to respect human rights in the work place – gender equality being one key area of focus. We are keen to see the Government and Ministers continue to lead by example,” Dr Blue says.