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Equality Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:31 am on 9th June 2009.

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Katja Hall: We agree that the causes are complex, and if we want to make progress, we must find a holistic solution that tackles the education system, the choices that girls and boys make at school and the fact that vocational training still has such a strong gender bias. We must also look at child care and the choices that women make to take time out of the labour market.

Employers also have a role and they can—and should—do more to help women to progress in the workplace. We suggest that more progress can be made by looking at issues such as flexible working, particularly at senior levels within an organisation. We should look at things such as leadership training for women, and performance training for line managers in some cases, to ensure that there is no bias. We should also look at things such as networking and mentoring schemes that help women progress in the workplace. Companies all have different challenges, and they need to be able to find the solutions that work for them and deliver real progress.