Labour Research May 2023

Equality news

Male-dominated councils

Analysis by the gender equality charity, The Fawcett Society, has found that women are woefully under-represented on local councils.

With 95% of councils male-dominated, it says women are under-represented when crucial decisions are made, and talented women are excluded from a career pipeline which often leads to higher positions in national politics.

Neither the government nor political parties monitor the gender balance (or other diversity characteristics) of local authority councillors.

But a snapshot taken on 1 August 2022 shows just 36% of the 19,212 elected councillors across the UK were women — only two percentage points higher than in a snapshot taken in 2018.

Jemima Olchawski, Fawcett Society chief executive, said that “government, local authorities and political parties need to take action and record diversity data, set targets for women’s representation, and make being a local councillor more accessible to those with caring responsibilities”.