Vic govt boards to be half women

Women will make up at least half of all future appointments to paid Victorian government board and court positions.

Female representation on government boards in Victoria has dropped from 40 per cent to 35.6 per cent in the past four years.

Premier Daniel Andrews said women’s perspectives were needed on more Victorian boards.

“When it comes to women on major government boards, the federal government performs better than Victoria,” he told the Victorian Labor Party state conference on Saturday.

Women make up 80 per cent of the workforce in the health and social care industry, but have fewer than a quarter of the board positions on Melbourne Health.

“What I’ve announced today will mean that by the end of 2018, no director of an ASX 200 company will be able to look me in the eye and tell me there aren’t enough women in our state who are qualified to join them,” Mr Andrews said.

Ministers will be responsible for ensuring all appointments meet the new requirements, which will apply to all paid government boards and the Supreme, County and Magistrates courts.

Mr Andrews said there had been an aspirational target set up in 2009 to get more women on boards, but it had not been enforced.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the Victorian government’s announcement on female representation on paid boards and at courts had the opposition’s support.

“I think it’s good policy, and I think it’s probably overdue,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“I think it should also be looked at for the non-paying boards as well.”

Mr Guy said the Victorian Liberal party was working on reforming itself to have more women in key roles.

“I hope the private sector will follow suit as well,” he said.

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