More women than men appointed to public boards

Gender balance on boards.

The number of women appointed to public boards has increased by 20% since 2012, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance has announced.

In 2016, 59% of new appointments to public boards were women, 20% more than in 2012.

In addition, women made up 45% of all chair appointments last year, while the number of applications made by women for public board positions increased by 12% since 2012 to 43%.

Since the launch of the Scottish Government’s Partnership for Change 50/50 by 2020 campaign in 2015, 191 public, private and third sector bodies have committed to working towards gender balance on their boards.

Marking International Women’s Day in a parliamentary debate today, Ms Constance said:

“Last year we saw more women than men being appointed to public boards, bringing the number of women on boards to the highest ever. This is fantastic news for equality across Scotland, and something to celebrate ahead of International Women’s Day.

“We know greater diversity in the boardroom leads to better performance, encouraging new and innovative thinking and leading to better business decisions and governance. Our Gender Representation on Public Boards bill, due to be introduced to Parliament this year, is a significant step forward in ensuring we cement these gains, so that women are properly represented in senior and decision-making positions across Scotland.

“Real progress has been made, and International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on this. But it is also an opportunity to increase our resolve to overcome the challenges that remain. We are committed to a fairer and more equal Scotland, and help shatter the glass ceiling once and for all.”


The proportion of female applicants and appointments continues to increase. The full statistics can be read here

Scotland has the sixth highest female employment rate across the 28 EU countries ((15-64) at 69.0% with Sweden highest at 75.8%).

The pay gap in Scotland is also decreasing. The full-time pay gap fell to 6.2% last year, which compares with a UK-wide gap of 9.4%.


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