If I'm putting together a work group, where at least 30 percent of the members should be female and at least 30 percent should be male, would it be correct to say

The group should have a 30 percent representation of either gender.

If not, what would be the correct way to say this?

  • 4
    Suggestion: The group should have at least 30 percent of each gender. Feb 24, 2021 at 14:39
  • It's easier to say 1/3 than 30%. But, what about the other 2/3rds? Also, you want to work with the term, members of the group.
    – Lambie
    Feb 24, 2021 at 15:07
  • 2
    Probably want to include the word "minimum" for clarity.
    – MikeB
    Feb 24, 2021 at 15:41
  • @Lambie You're right! I forgot to include "at least" :)
    – Helen
    Feb 24, 2021 at 18:19
  • 1
    @Helen I think you put it most clearly yourself in your introduction: **At least 30% of the work group should be female and (at least) 30% (should be) male. Feb 24, 2021 at 23:57

2 Answers 2


Saying "either gender" could be interpreted as either 30% male or 30% female. That wouldn't make much sense, so after a moment's thought I'd understand what you meant.

The other problem is that you don't want 30% of the gender, (several billion people at the last count) but 30% of the group. That means turning the sentence around

Both genders should be represented by at least 30% of the group.

Neither gender should have a representation of less than 30% of the group.

But it would be easier to just name the genders, say:

A least 30% of the group should be men, and at least 30% should be women.

That is clear and unambiguous.

  • What if the group membership is such that 30 per cent is not a whole number? Feb 24, 2021 at 21:13
  • 2
    No problem, since I specified "at least". If there is more than one member in the group, this condition can always be satified.
    – James K
    Feb 24, 2021 at 22:31
  • Oh!! So you're saying I can in fact use "represent/represented" in this context?? I learnt from Lambie's various comments that I couldn't use that at all... but this is great news, since I really need to include the idea of representation somehow. The first of your suggestions – "both genders should be represented by at least 30% of the group" is absolutely perfect – thank you so, so much!
    – Helen
    Feb 25, 2021 at 10:59
  • "Both genders should be represented by at least 30% of the group". is inaccurate. That means: Men and women should represent at least 30% of the group.
    – Lambie
    Feb 25, 2021 at 16:33

Analysis: The group should have a 30 percent representation of either gender.

In specifying how many males (men) or females (women) should be in the group, it is more natural to use a fraction (1/3. 1/2, 1/4), rather than a percentage. Percentages are good for large numbers of people: Twenty percent of the voters decided to stay home.

Compare: One third of the board members voted to keep the dress code regulations.

  • One third of the group's members should be women and one third, men.
  • The group should be comprised of 1/3 men and 1/3 women.
  • Women and men should each represent 1/3 of the group's members.

[last one added post facto]

representation is not accurate here. "either gender" means one or the other. So, that is very accurate here.

  • So my original suggestion simply doesn't work? Not even if I replace "either" with "both"? I really need to include representation somehow... that both genders should be represented by at least 30% (or 1/3) each...
    – Helen
    Feb 24, 2021 at 18:33
  • @Helen, the word representation does not work. "Both genders should be represented" does not work. The group is comprised of x fraction of members. I know what you are trying to say but it is not effective: Men should represent 1/3 of the members and women, 1/3 of the members. That makes sense, but is not great. Each gender should account for at least 1/3 of the members.
    – Lambie
    Feb 24, 2021 at 18:43
  • Hm... are you saying the very sentence "Both genders should be represented" doesn't work – even without subsequent talk of percentages? I'm sorry for being a bit slow – I'm not trying to be impossible...
    – Helen
    Feb 24, 2021 at 18:47
  • @Helen Yes, I am. "Both genders represented " sounds like a reporting (news writing) style and not an administrative style. Anymore advice would have to be paid. :)
    – Lambie
    Feb 24, 2021 at 18:50
  • :) Ok – thanks! I do appreciate that you took the time.
    – Helen
    Feb 24, 2021 at 18:57

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