(CMR) As a result of a proposal brought by Premier Hon. Wayne Panton, Cabinet will focus on inclusion and diversity when appointing members to national boards, tribunals, commissions, and committees.
“We must be the change we want to see in the world. A review has shown that government-appointed bodies' previous and current membership is not equitable in terms of gender representation. After the past year of turmoil, many people may want to simply return to normal. But in this case, we have a tremendous opportunity to create a new normal, one in which women are equally represented at some of the highest levels of decision making in our Islands,” Panton said.
The decision is backed by a preliminary review of 69 national boards, tribunals, commissions, and committees by the Policy Coordination Unit (PCU).
The PCU review found that out of 446 voting members (excluding ex-officio/public servants), 61 percent are males and 39 percent are females. Out of the 69 boards, tribunals, commissions, and committees, males dominated at the top of governance structures, with 69 percent of those who held the role of chairperson being male compared to 31 percent being female. Males also outnumbered females in the position of deputy chairperson by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent.
At present, data on other demographics such as disabilities and age are not reported during the selection and appointment process for governance structures and, therefore, only an analysis of males and females was possible at this time.
“Given these statistics, however, it is clear that there is much room for improvement,” Panton said.
While the PCU review was only able to analyze gender data, Panton noted that Cabinet is also committed to carrying through and strengthening Government policies that provide for the inclusion, participation, and equal representation of persons with disabilities, older persons, and youth.
“We also have to include our young people. We know that when they are engaged in the political process, they have a say in helping to formulate the politics of tomorrow,” he said. “It is also critical in building a stable and peaceful society and helping to develop policies that address the specific needs of younger generations. Inclusion and diversity bring benefits to the wider community, including increased representation of differing viewpoints and experiences.”
He said the policy decision is based on the need to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the Islands at a time when people are ready for change and eager to address longstanding inequalities.
“The members of the PACT Government hope to demonstrate that we understand our community and will continue to push the country forward through policies such as this,” he said.
The Cabinet Office will develop a guide to diversify appointed Government bodies and to advise Ministers and Chief Officers in their approaches to diversity and inclusion.