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Women's voice strengthened with 152 new appointments to Commonwealth boards.

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Senator Jocelyn Newman

Minister for Family & Community Services

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women


13 September 2000


Over the first six months of 2000 more than 150 women have been appointed to senior positions on Commonwealth boards and bodies - increasing the role of women in top decision-making and leadership roles in Australia.

"As at 30 June 2000, women held 32.2 per cent of positions on Commonwealth boards and bodies (where the Government has total control over the appointment), an increase from 30.9 per cent at 31 December 1999," said Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Jocelyn Newman.

"Of the 474 appointments made from January to June 2000, 32 per cent were women."

These figures follow the recent encouraging rise in women's representation on private sector boards to 10.0 per cent in 2000 from 8.3 per cent in 1999.

"The Government is firmly committed to increasing the number of women in decision-making positions and these appointments demonstrate this commitment and also the success of the Government's initiatives to increase women's representation on Commonwealth boards," Senator Newman said.

"Two Government initiatives launched by the Prime Minister in 1998 to boost women's representation on Commonwealth boards, the Executive Search Pilot Programme (Pilot) and Early Warning System, are obviously working and working well."

The Executive Search Pilot Programme and Early Warning System, managed by the Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women, are directly aimed at increasing the number of women appointed on merit to Commonwealth boards.

"These complementary initiatives support efforts to expand opportunities for women to participate, on their merit, in high level decision-making on Government advisory boards and in senior government positions," Senator Newman said.

"Many, many women have high level skills and extensive experience in a range of fields. The Government is demonstrating that we are playing our part in recognising and utilising these skills.

"Greater representation of women in senior management positions makes good sense and gives younger employees positive role models," Senator Newman said.

"And while these figures show that we are moving in the right direction, we must continue in our dedicated efforts in breaking down the remaining attitudinal and structural barriers to women's representation in leadership positions."

Media inquiries: Simon Bush            (02) 6277 7560 or 0407 780 509 Damien Mantach   (02) 6277 7560 or 0417 216 342

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