HC Deb 07 May 1996 vol 277 c86W
Mr. Fatchett

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policies adopted by his Department in order to encourage more women into senior positions within his Department. [27376]

Mr. Hanley

We have an action programme in place to ensure equality of access to recruitment, training, career development and promotion for all women. Graduate recruitment into the fast stream is particularly targeted to help redress the under-representation of women at senior grade level, and 57 per cent. of the 1995 fast stream intake were women. We encourage the retention of women through a number of initiatives including flexible/part-time work, job sharing, career breaks of up to five years, subsidised nursery facilities and holiday play schemes for school children. The FCO has been a member of the national opportunity 2000 campaign since 1992.