On track for 50 per cent women on Government boards

Release Date: 
30 March 2019
Media release

The Coalition Government is on track to reach its target for women to hold 50 per cent of Government board positions, with a record 47.3 per cent of women on Government boards at the end of 2018.

The Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the results were the highest since public reporting began in 2010 and demonstrated the real impact the Government’s efforts were making.

“The Coalition has appointed a record number of women to Government boards, increasing by 1.5 percentage points to 47.3 per cent, from 45.8 per cent, in only six months,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“This is a serious increase from the 41.7 per cent seen under Labor in 2013.”

“The Government is committed to supporting and encouraging women’s leadership, to ensure we soon have a truly equal number of exceptional women and men in leadership roles.”

Minister O’Dwyer said these record numbers build on the significant improvements seen across other critical measures.

“There are now more women in work than ever before – with a record 6 million women in work – and more women in full-time work than ever before. Pleasingly women’s workforce participation has seen record highs, and is currently at 60.6 per cent. The gender pay gap has also reached a record low of 14.2 per cent, down from 17.2 per cent seen under Labor in 2013,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“But despite this progress, we know there is more to do. That is why in the last twelve months the Coalition Government has continued to announce landmark reforms to improve the lives of Australian women.”

In the last 12 months the Coalition Government has delivered:

  • The single largest ever Commonwealth investment of $328 million for prevention and frontline services to support the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022, taking our investment since 2013 to more than $840 million;
  • The first ever Women’s Economic Security Statement, with $119 million dedicated to practical measures to help give women greater life choices, build financial security and grow the Australian economy;
  • A guaranteed minimum entitlement of five days unpaid family and domestic violence leave for all Australians covered by the Fair Work Act;
  • $500,000 to the Inquiry into Workplace Sexual Harassment, led by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Ms Kate Jenkins, which will build on the outcomes of the expanded 2018 AHRC sexual harassment survey;
  • A civil penalty regime to combat the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. Amendments to legislation also created two aggravated offences which will apply to the most serious instances of sharing of intimate images;
  • More support for families through the Child Care Subsidy;
  • A targeted investment of $20.9 million over five years to improve the health of new families, particularly pregnant women and children;
  • An extra $27 million to build on the $20.5 million already invested by the Government in the McGrath Breast Care Nurse Initiative, to ensure training of 98 breast care nurses by 2022–23;
  • A $4.5 million package included in the 2018-19 Budget encourages more girls and women to study and undertake STEM careers; and
  • Measures such as the Government’s Protecting Your Super package which will help to protect the low and inactive superannuation accounts of over one million women.

“The Coalition Government continues to be focussed on Australia’s girls and women, because we know that when women do well, their families do well, and our economy and nation prospers,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.