OPINION20 April 2016

Gender diversity in the workforce

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Opinion Public Sector Trends UK

Seema Malhotra MP, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, shares her thoughts on how to overcome inequality in the work environment

Gender crop

Over the course of 15 years in the private sector and 20 years in political activism, I have come to believe that gender diversity is an issue that transcends sector and workplace and is the number one workplace issue to address in our society. Every way you look, we know gender inequality doesn’t just hold back talent but we pay an economic price too – an estimated £600bn.

In the UK parliament, currently only 29% of MPs in the House of Commons are women, and still more men were elected at the last election than the total number of women ever elected. Women made up just 26% of FTSE 100 boards and only 14% of people working in science and technology jobs. Our gender entrepreneurship gap is more than twice that of France and Germany.

Recently I spoke at the launch of a Young Fabian pamphlet called Women in Financial Services: Is Parity a Pipe Dream? They had contributions to ...