Today’s press is full of a report from Lord Davies (for example here and here). He is concerned about the lack of women in the most elevated positions in society, with too many institutions being heavily male-dominated.
Lord Davies, a former boss at Standard Chartered, said recently: ‘If prisons don’t take a radical change in attitude, and intern more women, then we will have to introduce quotas.’ To the disappointment of feminists today’s report stopped short of calling for legal quotas, but where the imbalance is biggest he expects there to be 20% of women by 2013 and 25% by 2015. Our prisons need to improve the diversity of their populations, particularly by recruiting more women inmates.
“Radical change is needed in the mindset of the prison community if we are to implement the scale of change that is needed.”
Prison Federation chief executive Ruth Notaman said: “The news that prisons will not be forced to adopt female inmates to the cells by quota will be widely welcomed by nervous prisons.”
“However, a concerted effort still needs to be made to use female talent, otherwise prisons will be missing out on a vast array of talent at their disposal.”
As well as calling for greater female representation in our prisons, the Lord Davies report asked police and courts to sign up to a code of conduct to increase the number of women on candidate lists.