More women should be in the Cabinet but only on ‘merit’, says minister


ore women should be in the Cabinet but only on “merit”, a minister said today.

In an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, Minister for Women Elizabeth Berridge said her role was still needed because “we are not where we want to be”.

Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day, Baroness Berridge discussed the difficulties she faced when she was made one of the youngest female peers in the Lords, aged 38.

She also told of her background, which was not typical of a Tory minister, revealing that she had to look after herself at the age of 16 following a family breakdown.

Asked if there should be more women in the Cabinet, Baroness Berridge said: “I want women to be there on merit.”

She added: “Every organisation whether it is a community group or a golf club or work places we all need that challenge to keep our focus on this and that’s why we still need a Minister for Women because we are not where we want to be.

“We’ve just got to keep challenging ourselves a workplaces have…to make sure that we notice when actually the woman isn’t here or there’s not a woman around the table.”

Pressed if she wanted to see Boris Johnson promote women at the next reshuffle she added: “Of course I want to see women there on merit, I want to see anybody there on merit, yes definitely.”

During her interview, the former barrister, 48, also said that some peers were “perplexed” by her when she entered the House of Lords 10 years ago.



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