Women should gain positions on company boards on merit, not through enforced quotas, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.
Mr Abbott said that, while he supported his colleague Joe Hockey’s campaign to get more women on Australian company boards, he was “cool” on the idea of quotas.
“Personally, I’ve always been cool on quotas,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Melbourne today.
Australia’s Governor-General Quentin Bryce said this week she was open to the idea of quotas, while Mr Hockey, the federal shadow treasurer, said he would back enforced quotas to ensure women occupied 30 per cent of board positions.
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“I think if women are given the chance to show their abilities they will get places on their merits,” Mr Abbott said.
“I think women can and should succeed on their merits and I think if we give them more opportunities to show their merits we’ll see more success.”
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Mr Abbott said more women on boards would be good for the economy and individual companies.
He was speaking to reporters after addressing students at Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School to mark International Women’s Day.