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Appointments Welcome, Still No GBE Gender Balance

1 Dec 2015

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Women spokesperson

The announcement today of two new women appointed to the Board of the Motor Accidents Insurance Board (MAIB) is a welcome step forward, but Tasmania's state owned businesses still perform poorly on gender equality.

Of the state's fourteen GBEs and State owned companies, only two Board Chairs are women and only one CEO is a woman. 

The most recent publicly available information details the sorry truth for experienced and capable women in Tasmania who are too often ignored in appointments to government Boards.

Forestry Tasmania, TT Line, TasRail, TasRacing, Tasmanian Irrigation, TasPorts and Metro Tasmania all have only one woman on their Boards of Directors.

The Tasmanian Public Finance Corporation, MAIB and Hydro Tasmania are making progress, with around 33% or higher female representation on their Boards, while Port Arthur Management Authority, Aurora Energy and the Public Trustee are to be commended for achieving gender balance on their Boards.

The Hodgman Government has a laudable goal of achieving gender balance on government Boards by 2020 but its GBEs are lagging woefully. 

They really need to lift their game and fast if the 2020 goal is to be achieved.  It is 2015 and well past the time when we should still be seeing such a heavily male-dominated senior executive and Board cohort in state-owned businesses.

Achieving gender balance is better for their bottom line too, with research showing that companies which actively include women in leadership and decision making also improve their productivity and performance.