Women to take up more posts in public sector

The Government has set higher targets to increase diversity in senior public appointments, its annual review reveals.

The DTI – is aiming for women to take 35 per cent of appointments by 2003. The current rate is 30.9 per cent. Ethnic minority numbers should rise from 6.3 per cent to 7 per cent by 2003.

Each department has targets for the bodies it is responsible for. The previous targets were set in June 1998, and will continue to be updated annually.

The DTI appoints people to regulatory bodies such as Ofwat and Oftel, consumer councils, research councils, employment tribunals, Acas and nationalised industries such as the Post Office and BNFL.

Women, disabled people and ethnic minorities are still under-represented on the boards of public bodies, Government agencies and quangos.

Latest figures from the Cabinet Office show a third of posts are held by women and 4.7 per cent by ethnic minorities. No figures for disabled people are available.

Graham Stringer, parliamentary secretary for the Cabinet Office, said, “This Government is keen to ensure that those serving on the boards of public bodies are as representative of society as possible.”

The DfEE aims to increase representation of women from 37 per cent to 50 per cent and of ethnic minorities to 10 per cent.

www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/quango

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