Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

More Women on Commonwealth GBE Boards

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator The Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

More women are sitting on the boards of the Commonwealth’s eight government business enterprises (GBEs) than ever before and, pleasingly, three women are now in Chair positions.

Since coming to office, the Government has increased the number of women occupying the top position on a GBE board from zero to three.

And new analysis by the Department of Finance and Deregulation shows that female representation on the boards of GBEs as diverse as the Australian Rail Track Corporation, Defence Housing Australia and Australia Post has doubled since 2010.

Female representation across the Government’s GBEs now stands at 41 per cent.

“There was a startling imbalance the Government firmly believed needed to be addressed,” Minister for Finance, Senator Penny Wong, said, “because we know women are just as skilled and qualified as their male peers.”

“With the recent appointments of Siobhan McKenna and Elizabeth Alexander to the chairs of NBN Co Limited and Medibank Private respectively, it’s fantastic that women now chair three of our GBEs.”

Minister for the Status of Women Julie Collins said the Federal Government can lead by example when it comes to increasing board diversity.

“By improving the gender balance on government boards, the Government can effect positive change across all sectors,” Minister Collins said.

“Evidence shows that having a good balance of men and women in leadership positions results in more informed decision making and better outcomes.”

The Government has also announced that a one-stop website portal to advertise government board vacancies when they become available, will be launched in the coming weeks.

The website means that, for the first time, details of every government board position, as well as the gender balance of each board, will be published in the one location.

People interested in being appointed to government boards will be able to search vacancies and details of positions that may become available, and register their interest.

The website can be accessed at from mid April 2013.