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Departments: Discrimination

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress his Department has made in achieving gender equality in public appointments to bodies which fall within his Department's responsibility since 1997. (125209)

[holding answer 5 March 2007]: The Government remain committed to improving diversity on the boards of public bodies and the principle of equal representation of women and men in public appointments.

The annual Cabinet Office publication “Public Bodies” contains details of the number of women appointed to public bodies each year by Department. For 1997-2006 copies of these documents are available in the Library for the reference of Members. From 1998 copies are also available on the internet at:

During 2006, women represented 31.6 per cent. of the public appointments made to non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). In January 2007, 31 per cent. of total public appointments in DfES’s NDPBs were held by women.

In 1997, 23.6 per cent. of public appointments made to NDPBs by the Department for Education and Employment were held by women. Subsequent Machinery of Government changes mean that there is no direct comparison between public appointments in 1997 and in 2006.