§ Jackie Ballard
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many and what percentage of the (i) paid and (ii) unpaid appointments which he has made to non-departmental public bodies since 1 May 1997 were women. 
§ Dr. Howells
The total number of appointments and re-appointments to Non-Departmental Public Bodies sponsored by this Department since 1 May 1997 is 83, of which 20 have been women. Of these (i) 3 have been paid appointments (this represents 27 per cent. of all paid appointments and re-appointments), and (ii) 17 have been unpaid (this represents 24 per cent. of all unpaid appointments and re-appointments).
The Government are committed to increasing the representation of women in public life. In support of this, this Department is currently drawing up an action plan for increasing the number of women and ethnic minorities holding public appointments.