It’s so rare that I find myself in agreement with David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, (in fact, let’s face it, it has never happened before) that I felt compelled to note it. It seems me and Mr C share a viewpoint over his dismal failure to appoint women into senior posts in his cabinet, with just five of the 32 ministers being women. He had pledged pre election that at least a third of his cabinet would be female.
David Cameron was in India when he was asked by a female employee at a factory he was visiting if Britain could teach India anything about opening up opportunities to women.
To his credit he replied:
” We still have a long way to go. If you look at the top businesses in Britain, there still aren’t nearly enough women around the cabinet table.
I think in every walk of life, whether the judiciary, politics, or business there is a lot further to go. My own view is it isn’t enough just to open up and say we will treat everyone equally, when you are starting from such a position of disadvantage. Companies, political parties and other organisations need to actively go out and encourage women to join in, to sign up, to take the course, to become part of the endeavour.
Just opening up and saying ‘You’re welcome to try if you want to’ doesn’t get over the fact that there have been alls orts of barriers in the way”
Correct, Mr Cameron. So can we expect to hear an announcement about quotas for women on boards soon?(You might like to check this out from EU Women-on-boards (EU and has some good info on what quotas are for) Oh hang on, you’re not that keen on EU directives….)
But something has to change and it’s no good hand wringing and going for the female vote by simply saying the right things. We are judged on what we do, and the time has come to DO something. I believe that ‘something’ has to be the introduction of quotas.
NB Mr Cameron does not advocate positive discrimination as a means of addressing the imbalance but the Labour party has selected an all women shortlist in South Stockton. The Green Party are advocates for quotas as you can see in this interview with the leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennet
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Posted on February 19th, 2013 by Jane