Scottish Government launches consultation on gender balance on public boards

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 January 2017 in News

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill will require public boards to take action to guarantee gender balance in non-executive membership

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on legislation aiming to ensure gender balance on public boards in Scotland.

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill, ensuring that boards have an equal representation of women and men, will require public boards to take action to guarantee gender balance in non-executive membership.

Launching the consultation, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said the legislation would help help, "shatter the glass ceiling once and for all".


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Women currently make up just 42 per cent of board members in the public sector.

Launching the consultation, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said: “In a new year, with new powers, this bill is a significant step forward in making sure this position changes, and that women are properly represented in senior and decision-making positions across Scotland, helping to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all.

“Real progress has been made over the last parliamentary term to improve the gender balance of Ministerial appointments to public boards, but we won’t rest on our laurels. We must ensure that we maintain the progress that has been made and keep moving forward.

“Not only is this a matter of equality and fairness but there is strong evidence to suggest that better balanced boards perform better too, making best use of all the talents at their fingertips.”

So far 191 public bodies, third sector organisations and private companies have already signed up to the Scottish Government’s 50/50 by 2020 pledge, aiming to improve gender balance on boards.

The bill would not apply to private companies.

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