Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards

  • Hon Louise Upston

Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says.

“This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To maintain similar levels of women representation at public board and committee level, deliberate action is needed across government, business, and organisations for years to come.

“There has been a steady increase of women representation on public sector boards, increasing from 41.1 per cent in 2012. I want to see women continue to be appointed to government boards and committees, especially through the Ministry for Women’s nominations service.

“Women are also better represented at the board chair level, which is a sign of good progress reaching 46.2 per cent, a significant increase from 41.9 per cent in 2022.

“It shows us there are many talented leaders ready to step into a governance role and take up the challenge of a chairing position and I welcome this wholeheartedly.

“Māori and ethnic diversity of public sector boards has also continued to increase since data collection for ethnicities on boards began in 2019. I am thrilled to see many women from ethnic backgrounds take it in their stride, and step into governance roles.

“We know the positive impact that greater representation of women has on social outcomes, decision making, and financial performance.

“Our focus is now on ensuring this pipeline is strengthened and that we see more diverse representation in private sector leadership and governance.”

Notes to editors

  • The 2023 data shows that Māori board members now hold 27.5% of board roles (up from 26.8% in 2022), Pacific board members 7% (up from 6.1% in 2022) and Asian board members 6.1% (no change from 2022).

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