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More women on boards

Cabinet Secretary announces increased gender balance on public board appointments.

For the first time, more women than men were appointed to the boards of regulated public bodies in 2015 with 54 per cent of all appointees being female.

Since the launch of the Scottish Government’s Partnership for Change 50/50 by 2020 campaign in June 2015 a number of public bodies have achieved gender balance.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Roseanna Cunningham made the announcement today during a visit to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) who have used creative ways to achieve board diversity.

Ms Cunningham, said: 

“In an historic first for Scotland, more women than men were appointed – on merit – by Ministers to the boards of public bodies in 2015. This is great news for equality and for making Scotland fairer.

“Of all the appointees last year 54 per cent were female. While this marks significant progress we are not complacent as there is significant work still to do. We will continue to try and make sure that all of our public bodies that have a key role to play in our society are as representative and diverse as possible. 

“We are committed to making sure that Scotland has no ceiling for ambition and talent and that we create opportunities for all to flourish.”

The Chair of SCRA’s Board, Carole Wilkinson said:

“As an organisation which focuses on helping vulnerable children and young people, it is important we have a truly representative Board made up of people from a range of backgrounds with different life experiences, skills and knowledge.

“We believe a diverse Board helps us to work together and collectively make decisions which make a real difference to the lives of some of the most at risk children and young people in our communities.

“When recruiting new Board Members, we have tried to be as creative as possible, using social media, a recruitment film clip with young people and revamping our application pack and advert to attract candidates from a variety of backgrounds, to ensure our Board is not only gender balanced, but diverse and genuinely representative”.

The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, Bill Thomson, said:

“I welcome the progress being made towards gender equality in public appointments. Whilst there are clearly still challenges to be met, the figures for 2015 suggest that changes in appointment practices are beginning to have a positive effect on board diversity.”


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