Workplace Diversity

Part of Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 22nd November 2012.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 9:30 am, 22nd November 2012

The right hon. Lady will know that there is due to be an urgent question shortly, when this issue will be discussed in more detail. Personally, as a strong supporter of women’s equality, I share her disappointment and that of many others. As a Scottish humanist, I recognise that I may not be the best person to tell the Church of England what it should be doing. All our religious institutions are important. She raised the issue of the role of Parliament. She may be aware that I have not been a supporter of all-women shortlists for Parliament. There is an irony in that there is a continuing all-male shortlist as a result of this decision. She is right to highlight that a significant majority in the General Synod supported the move to women bishops. The fact that 95% of dioceses supported it gives some reassurance to those who would like to see this change happen.