Quotas for Board Positions will be Counter-Productive for Women
October 20, 2010, Queensland, Australia – The debate on whether quotas should be
enforced to ensure equal representation by women on boards is gaining momentum.
The idea of quotas has been raised recently by several prominent women, including Sex
Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick and Linley Lord, who heads Curtin
University‟s centre for women in leadership.
Their comments follow the release of figures from the Equal Opportunity for Women in the
Workplace Census, which show only 8.4 per cent of board directorships are held by women
in the top 200 companies listed on the Australian stock exchange.
But a leading Australian women‟s training organisation believes quotas for board positions
will be counter-productive for women.
Glenise Anderson, founder of Self Confident Women – a company that trains and empowers
women to go all the way to the top of the corporate ladder – believes women can, and will,
get there on their own merit.
“I agree there should be more women on boards but I certainly do not think they should get
there because someone has said there should be X number of women,” said Ms Anderson,
who has 20 years‟ experience in training, developing and mentoring women.
She spent 18 months training with The Coaching Institute (TCI), in Melbourne, before setting
up Self Confident Women.
“I would love to see more women on boards but we need to train them, and give them the
skills and know-how to get there themselves. If we have quotas, where is the incentive to
train our female executives? Plus, by imposing quotas, we would be setting ourselves up to
“Women have an awful lot to give and one day I would like to see 50 per cent of board
positions held by women but not because someone has told the organisation they have to!”
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has said that from next year, all listed
companies will have to set targets for women on boards and if that does not reveal a
„dramatic increase‟ in the number of women, she would consider putting „stronger initiatives‟
Dr Lord, meanwhile, has called for quotas to redress the imbalance, with „strong penalties‟
for those who do not comply.
For more information about this media release contact: Glenise Anderson, Self Confident
Women, on 0418 482 450 or email@example.com or visit: