In 2004 the then-Labour government wanted to reduce sexism in the public sector, so it set itself a target that 50% of new board and committee appointments would be women. In 2010, National decided that that was too hard, and lowered the target to 45%. So how well has it been doing? The Herald crunched the numbers, and the answer is "appallingly". Only seven Ministers were actually meeting their target. Meanwhile, most lagged in the 30-percent range (when the target was set women were 41% of board members), and six of them were appointing women to fewer than a third of places:
Mr McCully and Mr Bridges appointed less than a quarter board position to women. Mr McCully appointed 23.63 per cent women to boards in 2014 and Mr Bridges appointed 24.56 per cent.
Mr Brownlee appointed 26 per cent of positions to women and Mr Smith appointed 27.84 per cent of positions to women.
Prime Minister John Key appointed 29.17 per cent of board positions to women.
But of course, when asked about this, they claim to appoint on "merit". I guess they use a special dictionary in which that word is a synonym for "penis". Meanwhile, to the rest of us, its pretty clear what is going on: bad, old-fashioned sexism. The message is clear; National hates women, and thinks their place is in the home (or in low-paid professions such as cleaning) rather than in the boardroom. Isn't it time we had a government which tried to fix this problem, rather than exacerbating it?