When I was elected I promised to promote action on inclusion, diversity and social mobility. Because as Alderman and former Sheriff Tim Hailes puts it: “Inclusion brings together a richer set of perspectives and broader engagement, more lively conversations, and a better quality of environment for all.”
The Commonwealth has set a target of 30% women in political life and corporate boards are taking action to achieve the same target. The Fawcett Society’s annual Sex and Power index shows 32% of House of Commons and 28% House of Lords are women.
The City’s Court of Common Council is lagging behind with just over 22%. This is why I worked with other elected colleagues to ensure the City Corporation is going to take action. We have successfully set up a diversity working group to look into what positive and proactive actions we can take to make the Corporation more representative of the rich diversity of the City we represent.
Unless we build a pipeline of women and a more diverse group of candidates who want to stand for election in the City, we will not be able to achieve equality. We need to do more to encourage women, BAME and young people to stand. The numbers, our failure to attract and promote women in the Court of Common Council is stark – which is why I believe this requires a key focus in our actions.
It was in this spirit of inclusion that the City of London Corporation participated in 2018 London Pride for the first time in our history, and the Pride Rainbow Flag flew over iconic buildings such as Guildhall, The Mansion House (i.e. the Lord Mayor’s official residence), Old Bailey, and Tower Bridge.
In addition, throughout the year the Corporation is also supporting ‘Women, Work and Power’- a series of events to mark the centenary of votes for women. I was proud to be one of the Councillors leading the way for both initiatives.