Letter from Barbara Roche MP (PAP 43)
During last week's meeting of the Public Administration
Select Committee I referred to several times to the innovative
series of seminars organised by the Women and Equality Unit to
encourage more women to apply for public appointments at the national
level. I am writing to ask whether you or any other members of
the Committee would be interested in coming along to one of these
events as observers.
Feedback from the seminars held already has
been overwhelmingly positive. Over 90 per cent of women attending
have stated they would be more likely to apply for a public appointment.
Longitudinal research is complementing these seminars. The research
report will be published in December.
The seminars are being organised by the Women
and Equality Unit, in association with the Public Appointments
Unit, Women's National Commission and the Equal Opportunities
Commission and are part of a broader campaign to increase diversity
in public appointments.
The aim of the seminars is to provide women
with practical information about public appointments and to encourage
them to apply. As our focus is regional and national level public
appointments, our target audience is women who already have some
practical experience which will equip them to take up these kind
of appointments, such as women already holding local public appointments
(eg school governors, magistrates, NHS Trusts) who are interested
in making a step up and women who are engaged in public life in
other ways, eg through local chambers of commerce or trade unions.
We are also very keen to attract a diverse group of women, especially
those who are currently under represented in local/regional and
national appointments eg minority ethnic women.
These seminars are intended to help get across
the Government's determination to improve diversity in public
appointments and to reinforce the efforts that many departments
are already making to promote awareness among women and people
from under-represented groups generally.
I would be delighted if you or members of the
committee could attend. Attached is the programme for the next
seminar which will be held in Leeds on 15 May. The remaining seminars
In addition we are also holding three targeted
seminars, which you would also be very welcome to attend. The
first is focused on human resource managers to encourage them
to see the benefits for their organisations in encouraging employees
to take up public appointments. This is being organised jointly
with Opportunity Now and will be held in London on 25 June. We
will also be running an event specifically for ethnic minority
women on 26 July in Leicester. Later in the year, on 19 November,
we will be organising an event for trade union women with the
If you or any other members of the committee
are interested in attending any of these events, please contact
my official in the WEU, Helene Reardon Bond (020 7273 8832), to