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Women make up more than half of public board members for first time

UK News | Published:

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie hailed the ‘shattering’ of the ‘glass ceiling’ in organisations such as the Scottish Police Authority.

For the first time, more than half of all board members appointed to oversee public bodies in Scotland are women.

It follows new legislation setting a target for 50% of non-executive members on public boards to be women by 2022.

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act came into force in March 2018, and applies to health boards, enterprise agencies, the Scottish Police Authority, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, colleges and universities.

Of the 680 regulated ministerial appointments made to public boards, 341 were women, up from 45% at the end of 2016.

This encompasses 89 boards and women now make up half or more of the membership on 57 of them.

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

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

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“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.

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“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 the August 4 deadline.

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