Laura Sharman 04 November 2019

Men dominate top table at combined authorities, research warns

Only one in five with a vote at the top table in combined authorities are women, new research has found.

A new report from the Fawcett Society has found women make up just 21% of all members of the boards of combined authorities.

Some boards have as few as one in 10 female members and not one of the eight Metro Mayors are women, according to the findings.

Gemma Rosenblatt, Fawcett Society head of policy and campaigns, said: 'Devolution is looking like old politics not new – with power in the hands of men. All eight ‘Metro Mayors’ are men. And men make up four-fifths of those at the top table.

'Devolution still presents an opportunity – but only if big changes are made to bring women in. If devolution fails to engage with half the population, it risks the success of the whole project.'

The report calls for councils to introduce opposite-gender assistant cabinet members and for Women’s Commissions to be set up in each area to scrutinise policy.

It also wants the Government to ensure all combined authorities are gender-equal.

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