New Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson has said the government needs to increase the number of women appointed to cabinet and the number of women heading up Australian embassies overseas.

Speaking at the Women in National Security conference in Canberra on Tuesday, Adamson said “good is not good enough” when it comes to the number of women employed by the government. After Defence Minister Marise Payne’s speech earlier in the day, Adamson said it was not good enough that Payne was one of only two women in the national security committee:

“To me it is simply not good enough that there are two female ministers at the national security committee of Cabinet. It is simply not good enough that there is only one female secretary who serves in a permanent role on the secretaries committee of national security.”

Adamson said it was also not good enough that women only comprised 26% of Australia’s ambassadors and heads of mission overseas, and there had never been a female head of mission in London, Washington, Tokyo or Jakarta.

Peter Fray

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