Prime Minister says his wife tries to encourage him to promote women
David Cameron has admitted he has not appointed enough women to the Cabinet, saying governments and big companies needed to do more to encourage women.
Speaking in Mumbai, the Prime Minister was questioned by a female executive about the role of women in politics and business at a Q&A session with Unilever workers.
In response he said: ‘We still have a long way to go. There aren’t enough women around the Cabinet table.
‘Organisations like the Conservative Party should be making more active efforts to seek more female recruits and then promote them.
‘It isn’t enough to open up and say you will treat everyone equally. You have to actively go out and encourage women to get involved.’
Previously, the PM was criticised for missing his election pledge to ensure on third of his ministers were female, as well as only having four women in his Cabinet after the latest reshuffle.
There are only 47 female Conservative MPs out of a total of 302, a number he describes as ‘not nearly enough’.
Mr Cameron also said his wife Samantha encourages him to promote the role of women.
‘My wife likes to say that if you don’t have women in 50 per cent of top positions, you are not missing out on 50 per cent of the talent, you are missing out on more than 50 per cent of the talent and I think she’s right’ he said.
However, critics have argued this is just empty rhetoric. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, MP Dr Sarah Wollaston said the PM should ‘get out there and encourage more women’ to enter politics as Parliament is still ‘very blokey and like being in a boys’ boarding school’.
‘My message to David Cameron is that there are plenty of talented women out there and there’s plenty of opportunities to put them in cabinet if he wants to’ she added.