EOC chair suggests Tories look to business to win election

The
head of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has told the Conservative
Party that it must learn from business if it wants to attract more female
voters in the next general election.

Julie
Mellor, chair of the EOC, told delegates at the Conservative Party conference
that the business community has recognised that recruiting more women can often
bright them closer to the customer.

"At
a time of increasing political apathy, particularly among women, if the
Conservative Party wants to win the next election, it must look at ways to
engage with the concerns of its customer base – the female electorate – in
order to win support," she said.

Research
by the EOC found that female candidates felt that selection was biased towards
men.

Of
the 70 Conservative seats that have selected their MP so far to contest the
next election, less than 10 per cent of seats requiring swings of 5 per cent or
less have selected women.

"Our
survey last year, which showed that the vast majority of prospective female
Conservative candidates believe that selection committees are biased towards
men, demonstrates the scale of the problem. The Conservative leadership must
take more time and effort to persuade the membership of the ‘business case’ for
women candidates," she added.

By Ross Wigham

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