More women are taking their seat at the table on provincial public boards.

Women now make up over 49% of public sector board members in British Columbia, up from 41% in 2017 – an increase of 174 women.

Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, shared government’s updated public board numbers at an inclusive leadership forum held by non-profit organization Minerva BC.

“Our government values what diverse voices bring to the table,” said Dean. “We’ve prioritized women’s representation, and I’m thrilled we are approaching parity on our public sector boards. It’s critical that our leaders represent the people they serve, beginning with the public sector. I’m looking forward to partnering with Minerva BC and leaders in the private sector to explore better representation for women in leadership positions.”

In the coming months, Dean will engage with industry and civil society to consider ways to improve gender parity in the private sector. Minerva BC works with corporations to improve women’s representation in leadership.

“We’re excited to see the Province’s public board results,” said Tina Strehlke, CEO of Minerva BC. “Right now in B.C., women make up only one in five corporate board members. By working with companies to improve the advancement of women in leadership, we can make a better society for everyone. We’re looking forward to working with Parliamentary Secretary Dean in the months ahead to continue our work encouraging all sectors to increase women on boards and in leadership.”

Since 2001, Minerva BC has directed more than $10 million towards leadership and career exploration programming for women and girls.

Research shows that improving gender parity improves the bottom line for corporations and could provide a significant boost to the global economy.