Minister of State encourages more diverse public board appointments

Public board members can now serve their role remotely, as part of a move to encourage a wider and more diverse pool of talent

The Minister of State at The Cabinet Office has highlighted the need for greater diversity in its public board appointments.

Public board members, who serve at the likes of the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Tate and the National Gallery, are formally appointed by government ministers through a recruitment process.

During an event encouraging greater disability inclusion in public appointments, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said boards “should reflect the diversity of society and welcome a range of skills and experience”.

The Cabinet Office cites figures which suggest 46% of its public appointees are women, 11% are from an ethnic minority background and 8% report having a disability.

It said the government is working to make its appointment process more accessible, and hopes to encourage a wider pool of talent by removing location as a barrier.

It said boards should facilitate “participation in board activities remotely for disabled board members where appropriate and if the board member would like to do so”.

Last year, a digital service for public appointment applications was created to meet government accessibility standards.

Addressing a talent pool within the disabled community at a reception hosted by the Cabinet Office, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State said:

“The makeup of public boards ought to reflect our diverse society; welcoming a wide range of skills, experience and expertise. Involving more people on boards from across the country is very important to me and we are continuing our programmes of regional outreach to this end.

“We have to continue to find ways of attracting the best in class which means encouraging talented people of all backgrounds from across the UK to join public boards. We must continue to ensure representation of all groups and improve accessibility, ensuring opportunities are open to all.”