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Gender equality

Women make up more than half public board members

Susan Deacon

Susan Deacon chairs the Scottish Police Authority


 

More than half of all board members appointed to oversee public bodies in Scotland are women  – a target reached three years ahead of schedule.

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 laid down the 50% target by 2022. Of 680 regulated ministerial appointments made to public boards, 341 are now women.

The achievement applies to health boards, enterprise agencies, the Scottish Police Authority, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, colleges and universities. Women now make up half or more of the membership on 57 of 89 boards.

Equalities minister Christina McKelvie said more action would be taken to work towards all public boards having 50% women appointed.

She said: “We are shattering the so-called glass ceiling.

“It is encouraging to see these figures but it is important that we continue to encourage women to apply for these positions.

“This progress has been achieved through the shared ambition and action of all of those involved and our Act will ensure that progress doesn’t slip back.”

She added: “Scotland’s public bodies, colleges and universities are responsible for significant expenditure and decisions on public services we all use.

“It’s therefore vital their boards reflect society and that women’s voices are heard.

“There is further to go to make sure each board has equal representation and that more of our boards are chaired by women but achieving 50% across all appointments is a significant first step.”

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the regulations and guidance for the Act and Ms McKelvie encouraged people and organisations to respond by a 4 August deadline.



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