Gender balanced public boards

Bill on representation passes final stage.

Scotland is the only country in the UK with a statutory gender representation objective for public boards.

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The bill sets an objective for public boards that 50% of non-executive members are women by the end of 2022. It also requires action to encourage women to apply to become non-executive members of public boards.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said: 

“Women’s voices need to be heard, and they need to shape the decisions made in our boardrooms. Scotland’s public bodies, colleges and universities are responsible for significant expenditure and oversee services spanning all aspects of people’s lives.

“It’s really important we continue to encourage women to apply for these positions – and we are seeing good progress. Over the last decade the numbers of women on public boards has risen from 35% to 45%, and last year saw more women than men appointed.  But this

progress doesn’t just happen by accident. It has been achieved through the shared ambition and action of all of those involved and this bill will ensure that progress doesn’t slip back.

“The passing of this bill is an important step as we continue to make progress on our journey towards gender equality and creating a fairer country, with the aim of shattering the glass ceiling once and for all. I believe this bill can be a catalyst for the equal representation of women in all areas of our society.”


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