The number of women appointed to public boards has increased by 20 per cent since 2012, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance has announced.
In 2016, 59 per cent of new appointments to public boards were women, 20 per cent more than in 2012.
In addition, women made up 45 per cent of all chair appointments last year, while the number of applications made by women for public board positions increased by 12 per cent since 2012 to 43 per cent.
Since the launch of the Scottish Government’s Partnership for Change 50/50 by 2020 campaign in 2015, 191 public, private and third sector bodies have committed to working towards gender balance on their boards.
Marking International Women’s Day in a parliamentary debate today, Ms Constance said: “Last year we saw more women than men being appointed to public boards, bringing the number of women on boards to the highest ever. This is fantastic news for equality across Scotland, and something to celebrate ahead of International Women’s Day.
“We know greater diversity in the boardroom leads to better performance, encouraging new and innovative thinking and leading to better business decisions and governance. Our Gender Representation on Public Boards bill, due to be introduced to Parliament this year, is a significant step forward in ensuring we cement these gains, so that women are properly represented in senior and decision-making positions across Scotland.
“Real progress has been made, and International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on this. But it is also an opportunity to increase our resolve to overcome the challenges that remain. We are committed to a fairer and more equal Scotland, and help shatter the glass ceiling once and for all.”