26.We have already noted some of the weaknesses that apply to our method of data collection (in that it does not involve witnesses being able to declare their gender). The letter from Mr Speaker states that the Reference Group strongly supports “select committees in their efforts to increase the diversity of witnesses in the widest sense and hope that the convention might eventually be extended beyond gender, but consider that gender would be the best place to start.”
27.Several committees are already monitoring the diversity of their witnesses through short surveys. These are completed voluntarily after evidence sessions and ask witnesses for information on their gender identity, age, disability, ethnic background, religion or belief and sexual orientation. A pilot exercise has been concluded and an evaluation is currently underway, working with the House’s diversity and inclusion team.
Published: 7 June 2018