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Options to get more women on boards explored

Options to get more women on boards explored

How can the private sector replicate success in appointing women to boards.in the public sector.

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Women's Affairs Minister Lianne Dalziel announced today that the Ministry of Women's Affairs is looking into ways of helping the private sector replicate the Labour-led government's success in appointing capable women to boards.

"We want to work closely with the business sector to improve their disappointing performance in this area, which doesn't see New Zealand business stacking up well on the international front ," said Lianne Dalziel.

Women make up just 7.1 per cent of directors of the top 100 listed companies - less than 50 women in total, according to the 2006 New Zealand Census of Women's Participation prepared by the Human Rights Commission and the New Zealand Centre for Women and Leadership. In contrast, 41 per cent of ministerial appointments to government statutory bodies were women, according to a Ministry stocktake.

"The government's leadership and the Ministry's Nominations Service have played a significant role in the success achieved in the public sector and I want to see whether it can be effectively translated into something that works for the private sector," said Lianne Dalziel.

"Highly talented women are being overlooked for private sector directorships because they don't even come up on the radar screen. We need to eliminate what is essentially a waste of talent, which New Zealand simply cannot afford."

"There is a growing body of evidence from international studies that suggests that diversity on boards is, as the title of one Canadian study puts it: 'not just the right thing, but the bright thing'.

"Diversity on boards is good for business, so the business sector is really missing out ," Lianne Dalziel.

ENDS

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