Mark and Ruth look at the growing fashion for re-writing Bills mid-air as they pass through Parliament, adding on all sorts of policy bells and whistles at the last minute.
The 1990 report of the Hansard Society Commission on Women at the Top identified continuing barriers to women achieving senior positions across a range of fields in the public and private sectors, and made far-reaching recommendations for further action.
The Hansard Society Commission on Women at the Top was established in 1988, with Lady Howe in the Chair and a mandate to "identify barriers to the appointment of women to senior occupational positions, and to other positions of power and influence, and to make recommendations as to how these barriers could be overcome." The Commission focused on the circumstances of women in senior positions since it was thought that change at the top, provided it extended beyond tokenism, would help all women.
The other members of the Commission included leading female and male representatives from business and industry, financial services, the civil service, politics, universities and journalism.
The Commission examined women's representation across Parliament, public office, the civil service, the legal profession including the judiciary, management, higher education, the media and trade unions.
The Commission's work included:
A review of published information about women in public life and employment;
Interviews with senior personnel in government, business and the professions;
Interviews with experts in organisations committed to increasing equality of opportunity, including the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Women into Public Life Campaign and the 300 Group;
Contact with companies known for good practice in the employment of women;
A survey of employers on their policies and practices towards the promotion of women to senior positions; and
A survey of companies on the composition of their main holding and subsidiary boards.
The Commission found that there were still formidable barriers stopping women getting to the top: of structures, of working practices, of tradition, and, above all, of attitude.
However, in its final report, published in 1990, the Commission also identified "strong evidence of what organisations can do to break down all of these barriers" and said that it would "take only a small amount of determination to make sure this country ceases to under-use nearly half of its talent."
The Commission made recommendations for further action by political parties and Parliament, the civil service, the judiciary and the legal profession, businesses, universities, trade unions and the media. Among other recommendations, the Commission said that a Speaker's Conference should be established in the House of Commons "to consider the ways in which parliamentary and party practices and procedures place women at a real disadvantage".
Foreword The Rt Hon Lord Barnett, Chairman, Hansard Society
Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations
Part One - Introduction
Part Two - Barriers to Equality
Part Three - The Public Realm
Part Four - Corporate Management
Part Five - Other Key Areas of Influence
Part Six - Strategies for Change
The Constitutional and Legal Framework
A Survey of Employers
Women on the Board
Examples of Organisations in the Private Sector who have taken Equal Opportunities Initiatives
Organisations that Offer Help, Advice or Training in Equal Opportunities Initiatives
Delegated legislation is the most common form of legislation in the United Kingdom. It is the legislation of everyday life, impacting millions of citizens daily. But the terminology and procedures that surround it are complex and often confusing. This explainer unpacks delegated legislation - the terminology and Parliament's role in scrutinising it - to reveal more about how delegated legislation really works.
What a week! Suella Braverman's sacking from Government was immediately eclipsed by the appointment of former Prime Minister David Cameron as the new Foreign Secretary. Mark and Ruth explore the many questions this raises, not least for scrutiny of foreign affairs by MPs.
The Prime Minister’s decision to cancel the next stage of HS2 has given rise to criticism that once again the Government has ridden roughshod over Parliament. Just over 1,300 hours of legislative time have been spent on four HS2-related Bills over nine Sessions in the last decade. Why has it taken so long and what now happens to that legislation?
When parliamentarians reassemble at Westminster on 7 November for the start of the new Session, all eyes will be on the legislative programme to be announced in the King’s Speech. Speculation about the likely date of the next general election is rife at Westminster, but until the date is settled there are a lot of parliamentary issues still to be tackled. We’ve picked out a few things to look out for on the political horizon.