Governance: Gender & Cultural Diversity on Boards

#Juliet Hull

Women make up 50.85% of the New Zealand population but we are woefully under-represented in the country’s boardrooms.

Women make up only 25.9% of directors on private company boards and only seven companies nationally, have achieved gender equality.

The news is better on public sector boards, where slightly more than 50% of members are female. However, Governance NZ says culturally diverse gender representation is significantly lower than this and that there is still work to do to increase both gender and ethnic diversity representation on boards.

But there is progress. Last week, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd announced four new directors to the boards of its Council-owned companies. Two were women. But in four reappointments to subsidiary company boards, all were men.

This lack of gender diversity on New Zealand boards is one of the reasons I so enjoy the opportunity to add a female voice (and one with considerable experience and skills to bring to the table) to the boards I serve on.

See my video for more thoughts about diversity on boards.


I’m an independent director who enjoys making a difference for organisations with a sense of social responsibility. If you have a vacancy on your Board and want a partnership with excellence, reach out to chat.