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‘Too many advisory panels dominated by men’ – Eluned Parrott AM

December 1, 2011 1:36 PM

Women represent less than one-in-four of the advisors to the Minister for Business on developing key economic sectors, research from the Welsh Liberal Democrats has shown today. Just 22% of the members of the Sector Panels, charged with advising the Minister on helping develop the key economic sectors are women.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Business and Enterprise Eluned Parrott said, "It is extremely disappointing that the membership of these panels is so dominated by men. Industry in Wales has historically favoured men but I had hoped that economic renewal would have been an opportunity to tackle the historic imbalance faced by women in key business sectors.

"Having a fairer balance between men and women on these advisory panels would have helped make sure that the particular issues faced by women achieving success in the governments key industries would have been addressed."

There are no women on the panels advising the Minister on ICT, energy and environment and manufacturing. The panels for the construction, life sciences and financial services sectors also have just one women on them.

Eluned added, "Some of these panels are dominated by men despite the fact that the industries they are supposed to represent have a strong female influence. For example, the are many examples of female success in life science research but there is only one woman on this panel. But successful women are also needed to advise the government on sectors that are traditionally male-dominated, such as construction and manufacturing, so that we can find out how they have overcome traditional stereotypes. By having the voices of women in these panels, we can ensure that women are given the opportunity to prosper in all areas of the Welsh economy in future.

"I'm particularly worried that, because the terms of reference for these panels includes liaising with businesses, that we could see the institutionalisation of an old boy's network.

"I had hoped that this kind of male dominance was becoming a thing of the past. If our sector panels are not representative, however, then we risk enshrining it for our economy's future. We need to listen to the voices of successful women so that we can ensure that woman can excel economically and boost the Welsh economy."

ENDS

Notes:

  1. The full membership of the Sector Panels can be found here.
  1. The breakdown of the membership of these panels is as follows.

Food and farming - 5 men and 4 women

Tourism - 5 men and 3 women

Construction - 5 men and 1 woman

Creative Industries - 3 men and 2 women

Life sciences - 4 men and 1 woman

Information and Communication Technology - 5 men and NO women

Financial and Professional services - 4 men and 1 woman

Energy and environmental - 5 men and NO women

Advanced materials and manufacturing - 6 men and NO women

Total: 42 men (78%) and 12 women (22%).

  1. The terms of reference of the panels can be found here.