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Recruitment of Non-States Members


States Committees don’t have to be made up purely of Deputies. All of the six principal committees (Health, Education etc), and some of the smaller ones, can appoint up to two members of the public with relevant expertise and experience as Non-States Members (NSMs).

Read more about the role of Non-States Members – both Voting and Non-Voting.

After the general election in October 2020, committees put out media releases or ads encouraging people to apply to be NSMs. Women in Public Life promoted the vacancies in our newsletter, on our website and on social media to encourage women to put themselves forward.

Of the 10 Non-States Members appointed, two are women (Emily Litten (pictured) on Health and Social Care; Grace Ruddy on Scrutiny). This is double the number of female NSMs compared with the last States term (Gill Morris on Scrutiny), which is positive – but it’s still low.

Full list of current Non-States Members.

To better understand the reasons behind the number of women appointed, and to improve the support we give to the committees and potential candidates in future recruitment programmes, we submitted an Access to Public Information Request asking how many applications from women and men each committee had received, how many had been shortlisted etc. We are grateful to the officers of those committees for their comprehensive responses to our request.

Response to Access to Public Information Request.

From the data given by the committees we conclude:

  1. The percentage of women applying and the percentage being appointed are similar to the 2020 general election. 27% of the NSM applications were from women and 20% of the appointees were women. In the general election 24% of the candidates were women and 21% of elected Deputies are women. Both cases indicate that the critical factor governing the number of women who are appointed/elected is how many women put themselves forward in the first place.
  2. In total the six committees received 101 applications. The average number of applications for each individual principal committee was 14. This is positive, showing a healthy level of interest considering it is a demanding role. Though of course, a larger candidate pool would lead to a greater choice of talent.
  3. The Scrutiny Management Committee advertised in the Press and the ad was posted on social media, whereas the other five committees put out a media release which was also posted on social media. Advertising had a significant impact – Scrutiny had 31 applications whereas the other committees averaged 14 each. Perhaps the principal committees could fund a joint ad next time?
  4. Although on average there was one application from a woman for every three from a man, there was significant variation between committees. The split for Economic Development was 1 woman; 13 men, whereas Employment and Social Security was 6 women: 8 men.
  5. Men and women who applied were equally likely to be shortlisted which is positive. However a man who made an initial enquiry was 50% more likely than a woman to go on to make an application. There was a particularly steep drop-off rate for Economic Development, where 10 women made enquiries but only one applied.

We intend to do further research, particularly with candidates to ask about their experiences of the recruitment process. We will then forward a brief report and recommendations to the recruiting committees.


HSC Non-States members Emily Litten and Dr George Oswald

Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

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