Milestone for gender balance

More women than men appointed to public boards

Roseanna CunninghamMore women than men were appointed to the boards of regulated public bodies last year for the first time.

New figures show 54% of appointees were female have been hailed as a signifiant milestone in attempts at achieving gender balance at executive level under the Scottish Government’s Partnership for Change 50/50 by 2020 campaign.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Roseanna Cunningham (pictured) said: “In an historic first for Scotland, more women than men were appointed – on merit – by ministers to the boards of public bodies in 2015. This is great news for equality and for making Scotland fairer.

Speaking during a visit to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, she added: “While this marks significant progress we are not complacent as there is significant work still to do. We will continue to try and make sure that all of our public bodies that have a key role to play in our society are as representative and diverse as possible.

“We are committed to making sure that Scotland has no ceiling for ambition and talent and that we create opportunities for all to flourish.”

The chairman of SCRA’s board, Carole Wilkinson said: “When recruiting new Board Members, we have tried to be as creative as possible, using social media, a recruitment film clip with young people and revamping our application pack and advert to attract candidates from a variety of backgrounds, to ensure our board is not only gender balanced, but diverse and genuinely representative.”

The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, Bill Thomson, said: “I welcome the progress being made towards gender equality in public appointments. Whilst there are clearly still challenges to be met, the figures for 2015 suggest that changes in appointment practices are beginning to have a positive effect on board diversity.”

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