Dip in women on government boards

Female representation on government boards has dipped since the Abbott government took office.


In 2014, women made up 39.7 per cent of board members, down from 41.7 per cent the previous year, according to a new gender balance report.

The federal government has a target of 40 per for both genders for board positions.

The remaining 20 per cent can go to either gender.

The total number of government boards has been trimmed from 460 to 387 and the number of positions has decreased from 4039 to 3206.

New appointments have halved.

There were 639 new appointments to boards as of June 2014, but only 36.5 per cent of those positions went to women.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is also the Minister for Women, had the second-highest number of new appointments in his department’s board.

Prime Minister and Cabinet had 87 board vacancies, but only 21 positions went to women.

Health had the highest number of new appointments at 99 and gave 48 to women.


* 2014 women on boards 39.7 per cent, down from 41.7 per cent in 2013

* 2014 men on boards 60.3 per cent, up from 58.3 per cent

* Prime Minister and Cabinet 29.4 per cent women, 70.6 per cent men

* Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 41.8 per cent women, 58.2 per cent men

* Treasury 34.2 per cent women, 65.8 per cent men

* Immigration 40 per cent women, 60 per cent men

* Human Services 66.7 women, 33.3 per cent men

* Social Services 48.5 per cent women, 51.5 per cent men

* Defence 28.3 per cent women, 71.7 men

* Attorney General 48.1 per cent women, 51.9 per cent men

SOURCE: Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report 2013-14