The Scottish Government is
consulting on proposed mandatory quotas to ensure at least 40 per cent of
public boards are made up of women.
The legislation will bridge the gender gap and create more effective boards,
Cabinet Secretary for Equalities, Shona Robison has
The consultation examines
the imbalances in women’s representation on boards and gathers views on
how we can address any inequality, if required. Currently this power sits with
the UK Government.
The consultation Women On
Board: Quality Through Diversity asks how mandatory quotas could be implemented
for public bodies, and if potential legislation should be extended to company
“It’s clear that
even in this day and age we still have gender inequality on our public
“That is why we are
taking our commitment to women’s representation further than any other
Scottish Government has done before.
“Our ambition is for
Scotland’s public and corporate institutions to properly reflect the
communities they serve, which will contribute to moving us towards the more
equal Scotland we wish to see.
“This consultation is
looking for views on how mandatory quotas that ensure a minimum of 40 per cent
of women’s representation could be introduced.
“The results of that
consultation will help make our case to the Westminster Government that
Scotland should have responsibility for these issues. Following independence
these powers would come to Scotland anyway and we will not have to rely on
“Every women should be
able to fulfil their potential in the labour market and in their wider
“Scottish women make
up 52 per cent of our population. They clearly have a voice to be heard and we
will do all that we can to make sure this happens by driving forward this
consultation on legislation.”
Next month, the Scottish
Government will hold the first ever all-women Cabinet event in Edinburgh.
Taking place on June 9th - the date will also mark 100 days to go until the
The all-women Cabinet event
will bring together women from organisations across Scotland to discuss all of
the issues of importance in the referendum. It will explore the opportunities
to promote and improve gender equality with independence. Issues such as female
representation on boards, the improvement of childcare and employment will also
be on the agenda.
The consultation can be
found online via http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/04/1438
The Scottish Government does not have legislative
powers in this area and as part of moving forward has opened up dialogue with
the UK Government about transferring powers under section 30 of the Scotland
Such powers would give the
Scottish Parliament additional levers for change, should it choose to use them
where other mechanisms are not working or are not changing things fast
Given the support for
movement on this issue in Parliament we will look to further explore with those
with an interest in this issue, the legislative options that could be open to
us if we had the powers.