Local, Independant and Effective
February 12, 2018

Lift the number of women on agricultural boards to 50 per cent

Federal Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called upon the Federal Government to work closely with the National Farmers’ Federation to continue to improve the representation by women on agricultural boards.


Ms McGowan said Government policy set in 2016 set the target for women holding government board positions at 50 per cent, and in June 2017, women held 42.7 per cent of government board positions.


“In agriculture, it’s a different story. In agriculture, there are 18 government boards with 114 positions and 39 women in those positions, which is 34 per cent, way short of the target,” Ms McGowan said.


“Across government portfolios, after the Attorney-General’s Department, agriculture has the second lowest representation of women on boards. For agriculture and water resources there are 18 government boards with 114 positions and there are 39 women, which is 34 per cent.


“There has been some effort, and slowly there has been an improvement, but it’s not nearly enough.


“I call on the government to work closely with the National Farmers’ Federation, which has a Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program. And I call on the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud; and the Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer, to outline to the Parliament on a regular basis what the Minister is doing to raise our representation up to 50 per cent in the near future.”


Ms McGowan has moved a Private Members’ Motion calling upon the Government to support the National Farmers’ Federation program and ensure companies appoint more female directors. The motion also calls upon the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to increase the representation of women to a minimum of 30 per cent on all agricultural boards over which the Government has influence.

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