asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what is the policy of his Department concerning job opportunities for women as distinct from men at senior levels of the Diplomatic Service; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he has any plans to improve job opportunities for women as distinct from men at senior levels of the Diplomatic Service.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as an equal opportunities employer, is committed to equal opportunity for employment and advancement, regardless of sex. Current efforts to recruit more women into the administrative grades of the Diplomatic Service, and to make it easier for women officers to reconcile career and family, should in time ensure a higher proportion of women at more senior levels. (In 1985 competitions, 46 per cent. of the total intake into the administrative grades, and 57 per cent. of the DS9 intake, were women.)