Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Holyrood wants powers to get more women in Scottish boardrooms

Women in the boardroom
Women in the boardroom

Scotland could soon take a further step towards reducing sex discrimination in its boardrooms, with Holyrood seeking new powers to establish quotas for women.

The move is aimed at the top management of public sector organisations, but it is hoped it will set an example for businesses throughout the country and help to end the so-called “glass ceiling” many women can face in their careers.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael recently launched a UK Government-commissioned review of the role of women in Scotland’s economy.

It also aims to do away with inequalities in workplaces north of the border.

The Scottish Government wants to deliver at least 40% representation of women on public boards.

In a letter to UK Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan seeking the necessary transfer of powers, Scottish Equalities Minister Shona Robison said Holyrood should be allowed to “take definitive positive action that will lead to meaningful change in boardrooms”.

Ms Robison added: “It matters to us that our public authorities are properly reflective of the communities they serve and are exemplars of good practice.

“It is apparent that a number of factors impact on the gender balance of boards, including unconscious bias and indirect discrimination.

“We acknowledge that efforts have been made over a number of years to address these issues.

“However, despite these efforts the statistics show that inequality stubbornly persists on some of our boards and in the majority of chair appointments today.

“The present composition of the majority of our boards does not reflect the proportion of women in Scotland’s population, or the fact that women comprise the majority of graduates.

“It does not reflect the considerable contribution which women make to the economy and to society.

“We feel it is time to take definitive positive action that will lead to meaningful change in our institutions and to finally redressing the imbalance through the introduction of legislative steps to ensure gender diversity on our public boards.”

Scottish Women’s Employment Minister Angela Constance said yesterday the SNP administration was “determined that women in Scotland should have every opportunity to contribute fully to the success of our businesses, our public and third sector organisations and to our economy.”

Ms Constance added: “We want to see women better represented at the highest levels of public authorities.

“That stronger female voice will help challenge persistent inequality.

“We have already said that in an independent Scotland we would take action, backed by legislation if necessary, to ensure at least 40% of places on boards were occupied by women.

“We know there is support for this activity across the political spectrum here in Scotland, and we want to harness that support and expertise around the appointments process to ensure our outcome of gender diverse boards made up of the highest calibre of men and women, is realised.

“With full powers, such legislation to address blatant inequalities would be at our hands.

“Where we can take action more quickly we will. That is why we have again written to the UK Government.

“We do not wish any further delay to our progress towards gender equality.

“With co-operation on this matter, we can make the earliest progress through a section 30 Order which would transfer the necessary legislative competence to the Scottish Parliament.”

Meanwhile, Ms Constance has pledged to take early action to tackle pay inequality in an independent Scotland.

She told parliament yesterday the first task would be to review international best practice and set out proposals for gender pay audits.

This would make a big difference to the lives of women working across the public and private sectors – and support economic growth, she said.

Already a subscriber? Sign in