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The Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report is prepared annually by the Australian Government Office for Women, and reports on the Government’s performance against its gender diversity target.

On 1 July 2016, the Government’s target of women holding 50 per cent of Government board positions overall, and men and women each holding at least 40 per cent of positions on individual boards, came into effect. This target replaced the previous gender diversity target of women holding 40 per cent of Australian Government board positions overall.

This Report includes details of both whole-of-Government and individual portfolio performance against the Government’s gender diversity target in 2017–18. As at 30 June 2018, women held 45.8 per cent of Australian Government board positions. This is the highest outcome since public reporting on the gender balance of Government boards began.

Statistics on new appointments made in 2017–18 show how individual portfolios have progressed towards meeting the target. Of the 542 new appointments made in 2017–18, 53.1 per cent of appointees were women. This is higher than the 2016–17 figure of 46.2 per cent. The individual portfolio results as at 30 June 2018, women comprised 50 per cent and over of new appointments made by 11 of the 16 portfolios.

In addition, the number of women across portfolios that hold Chair and Deputy Chair roles are reported. Specifically reporting on the number of women who hold these senior positions is important in understanding women’s representation at higher levels of leadership.

Due to Ministerial and portfolio changes made in December 2017 some individual portfolio data in this report may not comparable with the 2016–17 individual portfolio data.

The portfolios that are not comparable are as follows:

  • The Defence portfolio combined the Department of Defence and the Department of Veteran Affairs to be reported together in the 2017–18 Report.
  • The Home Affairs portfolio replaced Immigration and Border Protection.
  • The Jobs and Innovation portfolio replaced Employment and combined the Department of Jobs and Small Business and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to be reported together in the 2017–18 Report.

The scope of reporting on gender balance on Government boards is determined by the Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report 2017–18 — Guidelines (see Appendix).

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