Debating women on comapny boards – interview for Radio 4 Today Programme

Labour Party

This morning I was interviewed for BBC radio 4 Today Programme about the plan to introduce EU legislation which will address the issue of the number of women, or rather the lack of women, who sit on company boards.

I support the legislation and explained, during the debate with the 30% club’s Helen Morrissey, there is a disparity between the percentage of female graduates and women who get to sit at the top of company boards.

You can listen again to the interview and my argument here or by using the audio player below.

I also debated the issue on BBC radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show, with Dame Ann Leslie. You can listen to the whole show by following the link here or just my segment by using the audio player below.

Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

Vulnerable young people are being let down by councils who are failing to implement measures to protect those suffering sexual exploitation.

However last week it was announced that an inquiry into child exploitation  by gangs was to be launched after it was revealed by the office of the children’s commissioner (OCC) that the problem was more widespread than it had realised.

Quite rightly the OCC is exercising its powers to investigate the scale of sexual exploitation of girls and boys by youth street gangs and other groups in England.

I support the work of the OCC and we must improve our lack of knowledge in this area. Full story is here.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new Met Police Commissioner announced ‘he is his own man’ when questioned by MPs this week.

The new Commissioner has been described as ‘tough, fair-minded, energetic, un-self-pitying and determined not to be pushed around’. As he said of the riots which broke out in London in August: “You have to respond very vigorously at the beginning to stop it getting out of control.” I have not yet had an opportunity to engage with Hogan-Howe, so I cannot give you my own opinion, but you can read a full profile on him here.

The issue of board room quotas arose again this week with the UK’s new corporate governance code which, it seems, will not back quotas for women but force companies to set out their policies for boardroom diversity.

On Tuesday, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), called for listed companies to report annually on their boardroom diversity policy, including gender. They must also report on any measurable objectives that the board has set for implementing the policy and the progress it has made in achieving the objectives.

The FRC rejected an idea by the 30% club (which intended to get 30% female representation in boardrooms) for companies to disclose a target for senior management level and explain how it identifies gaps in the boardroom.

We must address the issue of lack of female representation in board rooms now, and not allow it to drag on any longer.

You can read more on this here.