With an increase of 174 women being appointed to public boards over the last year, women now make up nearly half of all public board members in B.C.
In 2017, 41 per cent of public board members were women, but that figure has now risen to 49 per cent.
Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, shared the numbers at a leadership forum held by Minerva BC, which works with corporations to improve female representation in leadership.
“We’ve prioritized women’s representation, and I’m thrilled we are approaching parity on our public sector boards. It’s critical that our leaders represent the people they serve, beginning with the public sector. I’m looking forward to partnering with Minerva BC, and leaders in the private sector, to explore better representation for women in leadership positions.”
In the coming months, Dean hopes to engage with industry, to consider ways to improve the gender ratio in private sector leadership positions. The B.C. government say that only about 20 per cent of boards in the private sector are made up of women.
“We’re excited to see the province’s public board results,” said Tina Strehlke, CEO of Minerva BC. “Right now in B.C., women make up only one in five corporate board members. By working with companies to improve the advancement of women in leadership, we can make a better society for everyone. We’re looking forward to working with Parliamentary Secretary Dean in the months ahead to continue our work encouraging all sectors to increase women on boards and in leadership.”
Since 2001, Minerva BC has directed more than $10 million towards leadership and career exploration programming for women and girls.