Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, was delighted to host a roundtable discussion in her capacity as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Parliament.
The roundtable, titled “Working 9 to 5 – the Best Way to Make Our Living?, looked at whether technology, and the flexible working practices facilitated by technology, has improved or hindered equality and diversity in the workplace.
Mims was joined around the table by colleagues from the House of Commons, including Eddie Hughes MP; the Rt. Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister for Women; the Rt. Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister for Digital and the Rt. Hon Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee.
She also welcomed various experts from across the private and public sector to share their personal experiences, including Fiona Cannon OBE, Group Director of Inclusion & Diversity, Lloyds Banking Group; Katie McSweeney, Head of Work and Family Friendly Programme at Mumsnet; Sam Smethers, Chief Executive at The Fawcett Society; Holly Holgate, Assistant Director, Deloitte LLP and Kate Cooper, Head of Research, Policy & Standards, The Institute of Leadership & Management.
“This is such an important discussion to have, as we need to tackle the practicalities of equality if we are going to see a real change in the way we operate as a nation.”
“Today’s group have flagged the stigma that can be attached to agile working, as well as the real need for role models in the higher offices to champion these measures that ultimately lead to a more productive work force.”
“I am delighted to have had such a varied panel, and particularly grateful that two Ministers were able to engage in the discussion and reassure us that the Government are looking to tackle the technological skills gap affecting women, and to ensure the infrastructure is in place for them to work from home if they need to.”
“I am also thrilled to have had a group of students from both Eastleigh College and Barton Peverill College to spectate – these young women will shortly be entering the world of work, and it was really powerful to hear the guest speakers tell their younger counter-parts that they must not accept the world for what it is, but be part of the push for change.”
Mims looks forward now to taking the points raised forward, and to creating an action plan for the APPG to champion over the coming year.