We said ‘We Can Do it!’ So we did; Queensland reaches gender parity!

Published Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 at 10:15 AM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

The Palaszczuk Government has delivered on its target of fifty percent women on government boards by 2020.

Making the announcement in Parliament today, the Premier said that her government had made a concerted effort to push the boundaries for gender equality.

“In the modern world, democracy should include gender parity,” the Premier said.

“As a government we’ve led by example with 50-50 women and men in Cabinet.

“Four out of five of our Assistant Ministers are women.

“It was a considered, deliberate decision and we were the first state in Australia to achieve it.

“It’s fundamentally important because if Queensland’s population is equally made up of men and women, then so should the Cabinet which makes decisions that affect that population.

“We must also reach gender parity on our boards and committees, and across all aspects of society.”

The Premier said in 2015 her government set 50 per cent gender equity targets for Queensland Government bodies, to be achieved by 2020.

“At that time, only 31 per cent of women were on boards,” the Premier said.

“Through our Women’s Strategy and a series of Women on Boards events in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast and Townsville we’ve worked hard to encourage women from right across the state to get on board.

“Today, I am very pleased to announce that we have achieved these targets and I want to thank Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer and Minister for Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman for helping to achieve this.

“As at 30 September of this year, the overall gender representation of all in scope Queensland Government bodies and positions is 51 per cent female and 49 per cent male.

“In addition, as at 30 September 2019, 50 per cent of all appointments made to Queensland Government bodies since July 2015 have been female.

“We set targets and we delivered.

“Targets work.”

Minister Farmer said diversity on boards provides clear economic and social benefits for Queensland.

“We have so many talented, skilled, and experienced women in Queensland, we need those women involved in decision making in our state,” Minister Farmer said.

“By meeting these targets ahead of time, the Palaszczuk Government has confirmed its commitment to ensuring women are a significant part of government decision-making.   

“And their input valued and respected.”

Ms Farmer said the government’s work over the past three years to deliver the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards initiative has created positive and long-lasting change.

“If we set the example in government, then we expect that business, community organisations, and others will see the benefits and have the courage to make that change themselves.

“As a government, we’re leading the way in gender equality. We’ve delivered the Queensland Women’s Strategy, we celebrate the achievements of women every year during Queensland Women’s Week supported by our Queensland Women’s Week grants program, and we’ve just handed down our fourth Women’s Budget Statement.

“You can’t be what you can’t see. It’s important to have more women in leadership positions so we can support and mentor each other to achieve, but also to show the next generation that you can set your sights as high as you can imagine – because there is another women who has paved the way for you.”

This is a key initiative of the Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-21 under the priority area of participation and leadership and will contribute to the Queensland Government’s goal that women and girls participate fully and equally in society and as leaders in the community, in politics and business.

For more information about what the Queensland Government is doing to support gender equity, visit www.qld.gov.au/womenonboards.


Media contact:

Zoe Russell (Premier’s office) – 0439 982 347

Cat Milton (Minister Farmer’s office) – 0447 117 132