3rd November 2021 | posted in News

I recently gave a tour of a new housing scheme we are currently developing in Bishop Auckland to the local MP, Dehenna Davison.

Dehenna is quite unique as an MP, not only because of her age (28) but because she is the first Conservative to represent the constituency since its creation in 1885.

Now, her election undoubtedly had much to do with the fall of the red wall, but it was still impressive nonetheless and it was clear during our visit that she is very much in favour of having more affordable housing in Bishop, as the locals refer to the town – which in my position is exactly what you want to hear from an MP in your area.

This got me thinking about the strides that women are making to address the gender imbalance, whether it is in politics, executive roles or in board rooms.

It gives me great pride to be the CEO of a housing association which also has an executive team entirely made up of women and a board also led by a woman.

Taken as a whole, we may still be in the minority in our own little case, but the social housing sector does better than most with women making up 41.1% of boards and 39.7% of executive teams. Even better, 59.3% of housing association associations are headed by a female CEO in England.

Of course, these figures can, and should, be higher but compared to other sectors, women are currently well-represented and long may that continue.

There are now 222 female MPs in Parliament, which is the highest number ever, although with 650 total MPs this represents a figure of 34%, so there is still a way to go before we see a gender balance among the people who represent us – but at least it is going up!

Hopefully young MPs like Dehenna, and on the other side of the floor Labour MP Nadia Whittome, who at 25 is officially the ‘Baby of the House’, will inspire even more women to enter politics.

Just this week, research published by The Guardian revealed that Britain’s top-listed businesses have made further progress on gender targets, with the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards at an all-time high, although the report concluded there still were not enough female chairs, chief executives, and chief financial officers.

So, it’s good to see progress and good to see there is recognition that we still need to go further.

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