The Women’s Business Council was established in 2012 to advise on how women’s contribution to growth could be optimised. They report to the Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening and are supported in their work by the Government Equalities Office.
The Council will look to areas with the greatest economic benefit, make recommendations for business, government and others with a clear economic case for action and oversee the implementation of the business strategy.
The Council considered the business case for women’s economic participation and sent a report to Government. This ground breaking report found that if we could equalise men and women’s economic participation this could lift GDP by 10% by 2030 and if women were setting up and running new businesses at the same rate as men, we could have an extra one million female entrepreneurs.
The Council published its wide ranging report and recommendations in June 2013 and the Government’s action plan, in November 2013. The Council has remained in place to oversee the implementation of the business recommendations, raise the profile of the Council’s priorities and champion best practice.
The Council has produced a number of publications, working with business and Government.
- Read their view from business six months on
- Read their 1 Year on report
- Read their “2 Years On” report
- Read the Council’s publication for business - Mending the Talent Gap (which explains what the gender pay gap is and why it matters to business)
- Read their progress report 2016
The Council is chaired by Cilla Snowball (Dame) DBE, Group Chairman and Chief Executive of AMV BBDO, an advertising and communications group. Its members are all business people working in a range of sectors – including advertising, recruitment, enterprise, retail, legal, financial and pharmaceutical – who have been brought together to shape this agenda. They bring with them experience in business and commitment to equal opportunities for women.
Evidence base to inform the WBC
There is a powerful economic case for the work of the council. Despite great progress in recent decades, women are still more likely than men to be in low-paying jobs and are under-represented in senior positions. By equalising the labour market participation rates of men and women, the UK could further increase economic growth by 0.5 percentage points a year, with potential gains of 10% of GDP by 2030. The council is applying an evidenced-based approach to advise ministers on how to maximise women’s contribution to our future economic growth. Evidence papers will be published on this website.