11 MAY 2015

At Westminster today, David Cameron has been busy announcing his new front bench and of the 26 members, 11 are women – 42% of the new front bench. Considering that women make up just under 20% of Conservative MPs, this is a great achievement by the government and fulfils David Cameron’s pledge to have at least 30% women in his team. Further, the range of portfolios is diverse and not limited to stereotypical “women’s issues”.

The Labour Party have also been changing their shadow team, replacing a number of MPs who stood down or lost their seats last week, and roughly half of the Shadow Cabinet are women. Any female members of the Liberal Democrats’ front bench team will have to come from the House of Lords as they have no women MPs. We wait to see the responsibilities which will be given to the SNPs new MPs but if the 50:50 cabinet in Scotland is anything to go by, we can expect many women to hold important positions within that party too. Though this may not, yet, include their youngest MP Mhairi Black who first has to go back to university to complete her final exams.

The jobs which have gone to women in the new government are: Home Secretary, Leader of the House of Lords, Education and Minister for Women and Equality, Energy and Climate Change, Employment, Environment, Food and Rural, Small Business, International Development and Northern Ireland.

At Fawcett we’re excited to see what these new Ministers will bring to the Government, and we’re certain they’ll serve as great role models for other women engaged in politics!