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Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018

Section 5 – Encouragement of applications by women

13.Section 5 places a requirement on appointing persons and public authorities to take such steps as they consider appropriate to encourage women to apply to become non-executive members of public boards. While it is for appointing persons and public authorities to ultimately determine what steps are appropriate, such steps could include:

  • evaluating and targeting advertising strategies and outreach events to better reach and appeal to women;

  • thinking creatively about the sorts of skills and attributes that are required and how these are expressed, with a view to attracting more women to apply.

14.Appointing persons and public authorities may also refer to the Scottish Government’s Succession Planning Guidance and Toolkit(1) which seeks to help public bodies to develop effective succession plans for their boards, building on good practice.

15.Section 5(3) provides, for the avoidance of doubt, that subsections 5(1) and 5(2) do not prevent an appointing person or public authority from taking such steps as it considers appropriate to encourage persons with other protected characteristics (within the meaning of section 4 of the Equality Act 2010) to apply to become non-executive members of the public board.


‘Guidance on Succession Planning for Public Body Boards’, January 2017, [accessed 13 June 2017]

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