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Gender balance on Australian government boards: report 2020-21

A report on the gender composition of Australian Government boards
Gender equity Governance Women in leadership Government business activity Australia

The Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report, prepared annually by the Australian Government Office for Women, outlines performance against the Australian Government’s target for gender balance on Australian Government boards.

The Government is committed to a target of women holding 50 per cent of Government board positions overall, and women and men each holding at least 40 per cent of positions on individual boards. This target was introduced on 1 July 2016, and replaced the previous gender diversity target of women holding 40 per cent of Australian Government board positions overall.

Since the 2019-20 report, there has been positive progress across all key indicators:

  • As at 30 June 2021, women held 49.6 per cent of positions across all Australian Government board appointments, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from 30 June 2020.
  • As at 30 June 2021, women held 39.1 per cent of Chair and Deputy Chair positions across Australian Government boards, an increase of 2.2 percentage points since 30 June 2020.
  • In 2020-21, 52.2 per cent of new appointments to Australian Government boards were women, up 1.7 percentage points from 50.5 per cent in 2019-20.
  • In 2020-21, 50.0 per cent of people nominated for Australian Government board positions by external organisations were women, up 0.8 percentage points from 49.2 per cent in 2019-20.

The findings for 2020-21 also show further effort is needed to achieve the 50 per cent target. The representation of women on Government boards decreased across four portfolios since 30 June 2020, including in three portfolios where women were already underrepresented at 30 June 2020.

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