HC Deb 19 July 1995 vol 263 c1343W
Mr. Donohoe

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what measures her Department has taken to encourage the promotion of women into senior positions within her Department and its executive agencies. [35661]

Mrs. Gillan

A wide range of measures have been taken. All parts of the Department and the Employment Service have equal opportunities action programmes, most of which include targets, and these are monitored on a regular basis. In addition, all promotion boards include at lease one woman member and training in equal opportunities issues is mandatory for board members.

Development training is available for all staff, including optional training specifically for women. There are "fast track" management programmes available on which women are well represented. A career break scheme is available to help men and women to combine work and family responsibilities and eligible staff will be considered for promotion while on career breaks. Part-time working is available to all staff who want it and all jobs are open to job sharers wherever practicable. In addition, an advisory group has been set up to look at ways of addressing the under-representation of women in senior grades.