Creating a fairer Britain
The Commission’s Who Runs Wales? 2009 report looks at ten areas of Welsh life, including politics, health, and the private sector in order to assess the gender balance at decision-making tables in Wales. Taken as a whole, almost no progress has been made in achieving gender balance at Wales’s top tables since the 2004 report.
Key findings include:
Kate Bennett, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s National Director for Wales, said:
'Personal experience plays a major part in the decisions people take. So if those making the decisions are drawn from a narrow section of society, most people’s needs will be overlooked. Poor decisions have an adverse impact on all our lives.
'Diversity helps organisations to be more in tune with the people they serve. So the report isn’t just about getting more women into top jobs, it’s about changing the way services are delivered in order to ensure they take account of everyone’s needs.
'This report paints a picture of life in Wales in which our boardrooms are overwhelmingly male and it is largely men who take the big decisions that impact on all of our lives.
'The findings highlight a wider failure to ensure the corridors of power in our institutions reflect the breadth of society and include people from under-represented groups, such as disabled people and ethnic minority people.
'We draw a clear lesson from our findings – good intentions are not enough. Decisive action has to be taken for women to achieve positions of power in Wales. We want to move women into the fast lane as a matter of urgency. We want to work with organisations to achieve this.'
The report calls for changes to be made to quicken the pace of getting more women to the top tables in Wales. The Commission believes action has to be taken to improve the situation.
The report is being launched at an event being held on Friday 6 March to mark International Women’s Day (March 8). The event is being hosted by Rosemary Butler AM and Glenys Kinnock MEP.
Glenys Kinnock MEP said:
'This report makes clear that though gains have been made, progress towards gender equality in Wales remains far too slow. Action is sill necessary to ensure women’s voices are heard in the Welsh corridors of power.
'Today, as we face up to precarious economic times, it is crucial is that there is no retreat on our equality agenda. Fairness and equal opportunities are not luxuries for the good times only. Now, more than ever, Wales must utilise all the talents of all its people, combining to see us through this global recession and ensure effective decision making..
All information for Who Runs Wales? was collated between December 2008 and February 2009.