On Monday 3 December, Mr Speaker opened his state rooms to help launch Parliagender, Parliament’s newest Workplace Equality Network (WEN) which will focus on gender issues.
Over 70 parliamentarians and staff from both Houses were present to support this new initiative and Mr Speaker spoke to guests about the importance of this network, which follows from the successful launches of ParliOUT and ParliAble, the Workplace Equality Networks for LGBT and disability issues respectively. He also spoke about a new initiative to provide increased opportunities for less-experienced male and female clerks to sit at the Table of the House in the Chamber.
Megan Caine, Parliagender co-chair, spoke on behalf of the committee and outlined its hope that Parliagender would play a pivotal role in working towards Parliament’s aim of increasing gender equality in the workplace. Similar to other organisations of its size and composition, there are significantly fewer women than men in senior management roles in Parliament.
Siobhan Benita, former civil servant and independent candidate for Mayor of London also spoke at the launch, detailing her experience of working to embed gender equality in the Civil Service.
Workplace Equality Networks are open to all Parliamentary pass holders, and are an action within the Diversity and Inclusion Scheme. Mr Speaker acts as President of all WENs.
More information on the Diversity and Inclusion Scheme