Labour market equality

MQT on 2014-03-19
Session date: 
March 19, 2014
Question By: 
Fiona Twycross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Given your responsibility for economic development, what are you doing to promote gender equality in London's labour market?


Answer for Labour market equality

Answer for Labour market equality

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Fiona, I am committed to promoting gender equality in London’s labour market, including through the apprenticeships campaign, which we have just discussed.  In the apprentice numbers we spoke of, in 2012/13 they were about 56% female, a bit higher than the national average.  In City Hall, 51% of staff are female.


Clearly, there is no case for complacency because one of the biggest barriers we have to economic success in London is the shortage of affordable childcare.  With Elizabeth Truss [Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare], we are trying to get some more affordable childcare going into London’s schools.


Fiona Twycross AM:  Thank you.  I am quite a big fan of leading by example and you mentioned what is happening here at the GLA.  In February, you admitted ‑ as you have done today ‑ that women are nowhere near achieving equal employment opportunities in the labour market.  I just wanted to point out that in your pool of advisers, in which you stated almost half of the staff were women, actually only four of your 14 paid advisers are women, which is about 28%.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  That is not true.


Fiona Twycross AM:  In the figures I have, it is for paid advisers.  In the GLA, women are overwhelmingly employed on lower salaries than their male counterparts and few women reach the highest pay scales.


Darren Johnson AM (Chair):  OK, thank you.  A quick response to that because the Labour group is now running out of time.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I see at least five paid advisers here who are ‑‑


Fiona Twycross AM:  Rather than count them now, four or five out of 14 is still quite low.  Can you commit to doing something more in your office, please, about gender equality and setting a good example?


Darren Johnson AM (Chair):  A very quick answer.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am very pleased that we have a large number of women in my senior team, including three Deputy Mayors out of a total of seven: the Deputy Mayor for Transport, the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture ‑ Victoria Borwick, an illustrious statutory Deputy Mayor who is not in her place ‑ and Veronica [Wadley] who does volunteering, Rosie Boycott [Chair, London Food Board], Kate Hoey [Mayoral Adviser on Sport, GLA] and ‑‑


Darren Johnson AM (Chair):  We do not need to list them all.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Why not?  Zandra Rhodes [CBE, London Breast Cancer Ambassador], Barbara Windsor [MBE, Ambassador for Street Parties], Cllr Teresa O’Neill [Adviser on Outer Borough Relations, GLA], they are all there.