Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Womens spokesperson
Increasing women on boards in Tasmania is crucial to gender equity across the community, as well as balanced decision making. Sadly, the 50% target by 2020 is aspirational only without the backbone of a quota system.
In the past, targets alone have not worked in Tasmania, with only 34% of government Board positions filled by women.
The Women on Boards Strategy talks in great detail about the target and offers up the strengthening of the Women's Register and additional training and mentoring, but these will have limited effect without the strength of a quota system that binds government, particularly.
It has been demonstrated internationally that quota systems work in places where you struggle to increase representation organically. What Tasmania needs is leadership and clear direction to promote gender equity on government Boards and in our community.
An equal representation target for government boards by 2020 is a step in the right direction, but it is up to Ministers within the Liberal Government to make this target a reality.
Minister Petrusma's comments that increasing gender equity requires changing community attitudes is correct and I commend her strong advocacy on this issue.
The first change needs to come from Cabinet itself and Ministers who recommend appointments to government Boards.