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Gender equality on public boards law published for views

5 January 2017

A draft bill to further the Scottish Government's aim to achieve gender balance on public boards in Scotland has been published today for public consultation.

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill will ensure that boards have an equal representation of women and men.

The bill sets a goal for gender balance in non-executive membership of public boards, requiring action to be taken to achieve this. It also requires public organisations to encourage applications from the under-represented gender.

It backs up the Scottish Government’s 50/50 by 2020 pledge, under which 191 public bodies, third sector organisations and private companies have already pledged to improve gender balance on boards.

At present, overall, women make up 42% of members of regulated public boards.

The consultation seeks views on the practical application of the bill provisions. It also offers consultees an opportunity to offer views on how the bill might be strengthened.

Launching the consultation, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance commented: “Despite making up 51% of the population, women continue to be underrepresented in public life.

“In a new year, with new powers, this bill is a significant step forward in making sure this position changes, and that women are properly represented in senior and decision-making positions across Scotland, helping to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all."

Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 17 March 2017. 

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