The gap between rich and poor is growing in New Zealand and so too are other sorts of inequality.
Today the University of Canterbury put out a media release raising concerns about the decline in the number of women on NZX Top 100 boards. In 2012, 14.9 percent of those positions were filled by women and the EEO trust noted it would take 35 years to achieve equality. At the time there was also a belief that the number of women on boards would increase, albeit slowly, because of the diversity reporting measures being put in place by NZX. Today we found out that despite these measures the number of women on these boards has declined to 12 percent.
This disappointment has been matched by a decline in the number of women the Government has appointed to boards, after they lowered their target from 50 percent to 45 percent.
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs spend much of their efforts on creating a database of women available for board appointments. These women are available – 60 percent of graduated students in New Zealand universities are women, and 55 percent of women aged 19-29 aspire to be general managers.
The lack of progress on the number of women in governance positions is not because women aren’t ‘leaning in’. It is not because women aren’t skilled or talented enough. It is not the women we need to fix, it’s the system.