WAL Blog for this week

Premier Daniel Andrews and Wife (Photo Sourced from Paul Jeffers, The Age,  March 28th, 2015)

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced recently that he is concerned about the falling numbers of women on boards in Victoria. Indeed, he is so concerned that he has made a bold move to legislate that all public boards must now have a quota of at least 50% of women serving as board members. The quota will apply to all Victorian courts and all paid Government board positions, including Treasury Corporation, Public Transport Victoria, Melbourne Health and the Country Fire Authority.

“Female representation on major government boards in Victoria has fallen from 40 per cent to a little more than 35 per cent in four years,” he said

“I’m sick of walking into meetings and seeing a room full of blokes sitting around the table,” Mr Andrews said. “It’s not a target, it’s not an aspiration. It’s an assurance.”

He went on to say: “Of all of the appointments my Government makes between now and November 2018, at least one half of them will be women, and I’ll be held accountable for it,” Mr Andrews said. “Under this Government, equity is not negotiable.”

Mr Andrews identified that the low numbers of women on boards is resulting in a lack of balance in terms of skills, a balance of views, a balance of experiences and a balance of knowledge. Certainly it would seem that this fact is valid across all boardrooms in Australia, whether they are  public bodies or private organisations.

Mr Andrews’ aim is for women to make up at least half of all future appointments to paid Victorian government board and court positions. This is vastly different to Victoria’s current climate where female representation on government boards has dropped from 40 per cent to 35.6 per cent in the past four years. Women make up 80 per cent of the workforce in the health and social care industry, but have fewer than a quarter of the board positions on Melbourne Health.

“What I’ve announced today will mean that by the end of 2018, no director of an ASX 200 company will be able to look me in the eye and tell me there aren’t enough women in our state who are qualified to join them,” Mr Andrews said.

Without doubt, this is an exciting initiative. The more that women are able to gain experience and competence in the areas of governance, management and leadership, the greater the opportunity for balance, equity and gender diversity in the workplace.

VM Learning are passionate advocates of improving female leadership within Australia. For over 25 years we have developed and ran the successful program Women As Leaders which focuses on developing the leadership capability of women, in order to help ensure women are promoted and retained in decision-making roles.

This program is running on August the 27th, September 3rd and 17th and 1st of October. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to realise and develop your full leadership capability. Visit our course outline to find out more or contact us on 07 3215 8888 to book a place.