Soaps may help recruit to quangos

A government
report is recommending soaps such as EastEnders and Coronation Street are used
to attract women to serve on public bodies.

The report for the Department
for Transport, Local Government and the Regions recommends using soap opera
storylines to raise public awareness of women’s opportunities within the
department’s quangos. This
includes bodies like the Highways Agency, the Electoral Commission, the Strategic Rail Authority, the Housing
Corporation and the Audit Commission.

It also recommends an "awareness-raising
campaign through women’s magazines such as Woman’s Own or Good
Housekeeping
".

The report hopes that this will
help to increase the number of female
candidates
applying for and serving on DTLR quangos. Currently, five
times more men apply for the positions. And although an Office of Public
Management report found that female applicants are actually more likely to be
successful, women currently make up just 28 per cent of the department’s bodies.

Commenting
on the initiatives, a
spokeswoman for the Equal Opportunities Commission, said, "The overall
number of women on the boards of DTLR-sponsored bodies is lagging behind the
national average for public bodies, so we welcome the department’s commitment
to using a wide range of measures to boost the number of women appointed."

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