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Women's Equality Party launches & LGA unveils 83% male leadership

By: Ruli Pennington - Correspondent
Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 19:13 GMT Jump to Comments

32% of councillors and only 17% of the Local Government Association leadership are women. On 20th October the WE Party publishes its first policy document, and on the 21st AnswerTime® - Women and Leadership in Public Service records in Birmingham.

The October 2015 edition of first (the magazine for local government), published by the Local Government Association (LGA), has a feature on the LGA leadership including the Executive Board.

It is important to note that while the chairs on the LGA executive are allotted by the LGA (with the chairs distributed proportionately according to the political balance of the member councils) it is the political groups (Mostly Conservative, Labour or LibDem) which decide who, from among their own elected members, should occupy each chair.

There are 16 people on the LGA “leadership board”. Eleven of these sixteen are men. There are 10 further chairs categorised as “board chairs, portfolio holders and other executive members”. Two of these ten positions are filled by women. There are 10 “regional and Welsh” members. None of these are women. There are 4 “non-voting members”. None of these are women.

Forty leadership positions, only seven of which are women. Less than 17%.

According to the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) Census of Local Authority Councillors published in 2014, authored by Kelly Kettlewell and Liz Phillips and sponsored by the LGA, nearly 32% of Councillors - the pool from which the political groupings are nominating the LGA leadership - are women.

In the same edition of first there are twenty pieces of written content with by-lines. Seventeen are by men (including three by Cllr Gary Porter, Chairman (sic) of the LGA). Only three of the by-lined articles are by women.

On 20th October the Women's Equality Party will publish its first policy document. On 21st October InformationDaily.TV will be recording an AnswerTime® programme, Women and Leadership in Public Service.

Recording takes a couple of hours between 4:45 and 6:45pm. Food and drink comes fitted as standard. The studio is within walking distance of the Birmingham mainline stations. Between 7:00pm and 8:00 pm the trains queue up at the new New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill stations to whisk our studio audience back to every corner of the country. The edited programme will be watched by between 6,000 and 10,000 people over the following month or two.

The studio audience, the ones asking the questions and coming up with the clever ideas, will be almost all women. It is not difficult, of course, to get women in public service to engage with the gender inequality in public service leadership problem. Nothing will change, however, until men engage with the problem too - and with equal enthusiasm.

We have sent a general invitation to all of the English Council leaders to be in the audience and a personal invitation to all forty of the LGA leadership team including the 83% who are men. It will be instructive to see how many of them either attend or send someone in their stead. If they send someone to fill their seat it will be instructive to note the gender of those deputised.

Watch InformationDaily.TV video of Gisela Stuart MP and Catherine Staite, Director of INLOGOV talking about women and leadership here

Find out about attending the recording of InformationDaily.TV AnswerTime® on 21st October here

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