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Regional Development Agencies

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 1 May 2003

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To ask the Minister for Women what action she is taking to promote the appointment of women to the boards of Regional Development Agencies. [110649]

Nearly one in three of RDA board members are women. This includes the first woman chair of an RDA whom I appointed in December 2002.I am committed to increasing the diversity of the boards of all public bodies sponsored by my Department. I have spoken at events to encourage women to apply for public appointments and specifically mentioned the RDA appointments. My officials run awareness raising events and distribute leaflets to women's groups and other interested bodies in the regions. The material for these posts stresses that appointments are made on merit and that applications from women, ethnic minorities and the disabled are particularly welcome.