​Media Release

Littleproud delivers better balanced boards

23 October 2018

Female representation on agriculture boards has improved 10 per cent in the ten months David Littleproud has been Minister for Agriculture.​

The percentage of females on boards in the portfolio increased from 37 per cent last Christmas to 47 per cent currently, following the latest round of appointments signed off by Minister Littleproud.

"Finding the best mix of candidates requires creating an environment that entices the very best to apply," Minister Littleproud said.

"Female representation at the top levels in most industries is nowhere near good enough and we're not getting enough applications from women partly as a result of that, so the logical thing to do is look for top candidates of both genders for leadership positions.

"If we don't actively look for top candidates of both genders, we're denying our nation the use of half its intellect. But above all it's about righting a wrong of past generations having excluded women from leadership roles in agriculture.

"The opportunity cost to this nation's agricultural sector has been huge but the opportunity ahead is exciting if we get this right.

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got. Our board recruitment must involve having a proper look for the best women and men – not just repeating the same old recruitment processes and getting the same results.

"Increasing female representation doesn't occur by favouring women. It happens by creating an environment which allows both genders to thrive.

"When outstanding female leaders are appointed, it gives others a reason to put themselves forward.

"Every day more rural women are improving organisations all over the country, highlighting why they should've been there years ago. 

"Change is very possible.

"There is much, much more work to do but I'm glad to have started getting better balanced boards."