Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

More women on Australian Government boards than ever before

Women are creating a powerful presence in the nation’s top decision-making and leadership ranks, holding an all-time high 38.4 per cent of appointments on Australian Government boards.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, released the latest figures from the Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report 2011-2012 at the Centre for Economic Development Australia’s Women in Leadership Series 2012 in Melbourne today.

“The results of this year’s report show the Australian Government is making strong progress towards reaching our target of 40 per cent representation by 2015,” Ms Collins said.

“At 30 June this year, the percentage of women on Government boards was 38.4 per cent – this is an increase of 3.1 per cent on last year’s result and a significant achievement, over a short period of time.

“The report also shows that eight portfolios have achieved the Government’s target of a minimum of 40 per cent women on Government boards.

“This is a doubling of the four portfolios that met the target in 2010-2011 and is a reflection of the hard work and strong commitment of Ministers and their portfolios to achieving this important target.

“It remains a disappointment that in the private sector, women make up only 15.2 per cent of ASX 200 board positions.

“While women represent half the Australian population, and are just as skilled and educated as their male counterparts, they are still underrepresented on high-level board and decision-making bodies.

“Targets like these create positive change in more than just the public sector. Through setting and providing support to Ministers and their portfolios to meet the target, the Government is demonstrating leadership to all sectors.

“We will continue to work hard on this important issue and to support women to participate in all aspects of the economy, including the nation’s top leadership and decision-making roles,” Ms Collins said.

Earlier this month, the Government launched BoardLinks, a network to provide more opportunities for women to be appointed to their first board.

“BoardLinks’ focus on appointing women to their first government board role will expand the pool of women who can be appointed to board positions in the corporate sector,” Ms Collins said.

“One of the most significant hurdles facing women being appointed to boards is a requirement for previous board experience.

“This can be self-perpetuating because too few women hold board positions to begin with.

“BoardLinks will provide more opportunities for women to launch and further their directorship careers.”

The Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report 2011-2012 is available at