On 2 October 2015, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) made a further submission to Senate Finance and Public Administration Committees with respect to the Australian Government Boards (Gender Balanced Representation) Bill 2015 (the Bill).
We confirmed our support for the Bill’s objective to increase representation of women on Government boards and noted that it was appropriate that governments establish targets to promote gender diversity on government boards to be implemented through policy and practice. In this regard, the AICD recently wrote to Prime Minister Turnbulll to encourage a recommitment to the the federal government policy that establishes a gender diversity target for government boards of 40 per cent men, 40 per cent women, and 20 per cent to be made up of either gender.
In the submission, the AICD also suggested amendments to the Bill to remove any ambiguity that the Bill introduces a quota, which we understand was not the intended objective of the Bill. Under our suggested amendments, the Bill would continue to achieve the objective of improving and strengthening gender diversity on Federal Government boards by setting clear disclosure requirements with respect to whether the boards have met the gender diversity target in any given year and, if not, why this has been the case and what steps are being taken to address this.
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