Western Australian Acting Equal Opportunity Commissioner Dr John Byrne said he supported Wesfarmers director Diane Smith-Gander’s call for quotas to get more women on boards.
Dr Byrne said sections of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (the Act) allowed businesses to employ people with specific characteristics as a measure to achieve equality within the organisation.
“Exceptions under the Act allow employers to implement targeted recruitment strategies to select employees of a particular age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or with impairment.
“Many businesses already use these sections of the Act to advertise positions to promote race equality in their organisation; however less use it to promote gender equality,” he said.
He said whether you supported the employment of an eligible job candidate because they helped your organisation meet a diversity quota or not, it was helpful to know equal opportunity laws supported it.
"Research shows diverse workplaces provide a better service to a diverse community and client base, so implementing quota strategies doesn't just make sense for equality, it makes good business sense as well," he said.
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