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BoardLinks - Just another announcement of platitudes and spin

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Senator Michaelia Cash Senator for Western Australia Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for The Status of Women MEDIA RELEASE 


      Parliament House Canberra 

    CANBERRA ACT 2600    


BoardLinks - Just another announcement of platitudes and spin  

7 November 2012

The Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Status of Women, Senator Michaelia Cash, has today voiced concerns at the Government's announcement of the launch of Boardlinks, which will allegedly focus on appointing women to their first government board role and ultimately into leadership positions in the public and private sector.

Senator Cash said that whilst she supported measures that will expand the pool of women who can be appointed to board positions, she held fears that BoardLink, under a Labor Government, will end up just like the Appoint Women website - redundant.

The Coalition when in Government in 2007 launched the Appoint Women website. AppointWomen was part of the National Strategy for the Increased Participation of Women on Boards. Its role was to support the efforts of Australian Government departments to identify talented women, with diverse skills and experience, who are actively seeking appointment to boards or other decision-making bodies.

Senator Cash said that it had been revealed at successive Estimates hearings that under the Labor Government the AppointWomen website, despite being available to be used, is effectively redundant. “The Government does not monitor the site, there is no data even on how many women have uploaded their details to the site, let alone how many departments refer to the site when making new appointments or how many women are ultimately appointed through the site” Senator Cash said.

'What I do not want to see from this Government is more platitudes and spin that ultimately result in no progress, Senator Cash said. “There was a perfectly good tool in place that the Government could have been actively using to increase the number of women on Government Boards and it has failed to do this.”

The Government also needs to understand that despite their rhetoric, the Board Link program will not succeed in isolation.

"If real measures of progress are to be achieved for Australian women and if productivity is to increase there must be a suite of measures to assist not just pipeline issues and the number of women on boards, but incentives to return to work after child birth and an improved child care system” Senator Cash said.