Gold Coast women encouraged to ‘get on board’

Published Monday, 22 November, 2021 at 03:07 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympics
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today appealed to the corporate sector to do more in their workplaces to encourage women to take on leadership roles in the fight against gender inequality.

The Premier made the remarks while also encouraging women to back themselves, to ‘get on board’ and put their hat in the ring so they can be part of influencing the future of our great state for the better during a Women on Boards business leaders’ event on the Gold Coast.

The Premier’s Women on Boards events, which have been held around the state since 2018, aims to encourage discussion around gender representation on boards and gender parity.

“In 2015, when my Government first came into office, just 31 per cent of Queensland Government board positions were filled by women,” the Premier said.

“At the time, we set an ambitious target of 50 per cent female representation for Queensland Government boards and kickstarted the Women on Boards initiative.

“In 2019, we achieved that target and for two years running, we have exceeded it with 54 per cent female representation on Queensland Government boards (as of 30 September 2021).

“And in the last quarter, new female appointments on Queensland Government Boards has exceeded that at 56 per cent.”

The Premier said it was great to see women taking up more leadership roles in Queensland.

“Just recently we appointed a new female Governor Dr Jeanette Young and sitting beside her at the official swearing-in was myself and female Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, that’s the first time that’s happened,” the Premier said.

“In the crowd was our female Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll who was also our first female Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner before that.

“Eight of my Ministers including the Health Minister Yvette D’Ath, Education Minister Grace Grace, our Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman and Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon, as well as four of my Assistant Ministers are also women.

“That’s important because the decision, policy and change makers at the table should be reflective of the diversity and views of wider society which is made up of 50 per cent of women.

“The more women at the table, the more you change the conversation.

“While as a government we are leading from the front, there is a lot to be done in Queensland’s private sector with just 16 per cent* of women in the corporate world making up chief executives and managing directors.

“There is still a long way to go to achieve gender parity in the workplace particularly in the private sector and today’s event on the Gold Coast was a great way to encourage non-Government boards to set their own targets for equal gender representation.”

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon, who was also the youngest female elected to the Queensland Parliament at the age of 24 as the Member for Gaven, also attended the event.

Ms Scanlon said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to a State where gender parity across Queensland boardrooms was a top priority and wants Gold Coast businesses to get on board as well.

“There were so many incredible and inspiring female leaders from Gold Coast businesses engaging in the conversation today,” Ms Scanlon said.

“It’s our hope that delegates at today’s event will play an important role in creating those pathways for future female leaders within their organisations.

“You cannot be what you cannot see so to continue to strive for gender equality in all facets of our society and getting more women into leadership roles sends an incredibly powerful message to the younger female generations that they too can be leaders in their chosen fields one day, whatever that may be.”

The Women on Boards event included a panel discussion featuring Catherine Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of Netball Queensland and incoming Chief Executive Officer, Paralympics Australia; Rebecca Frizelle OAM, Chief Operating Officer of Frizelle Prestige; and Kate Jones, Australian Rugby League Commissioner.

For more information about Women on Boards initiatives, visit or to register your interest in joining a Queensland government board visit

*2020 Gender Equality Report Card


Media Contact:

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