Jo Swinson

Director of Equal Power Consulting and former minister and Lib Dem MP

Jo Swinson is Director of Equal Power Consulting, and is Chair of the charity Maternity Action. As Employment Relations Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2012 to 2015, Jo brought in new corporate reporting requirements on gender, executive pay and transparency of company ownership, introduced shared parental leave, extended the right to request flexible working, and secured government support for transparency on the gender pay gap in large organisations.

During her 10 years as a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament she co-founded the Campaign for Body Confidence, and campaigned successfully for the Office of National Statistics to measure national wellbeing alongside traditional indicators of progress like GDP.

Jo is Chair of the CIPD Policy Forum, a Fellow of the RSA and a Companion of the CMI. Her first book, ‘Equal Power’, will be published in early 2018.

Five Things You Need To Know About Gender Pay Gap Reporting

The numbers are really a springboard for further questions, and companies can delve into the data at much more granular levels than what will be published to understand what's driving the pay gap. If it seems high in some divisions, you might do a deeper pay review to check pay levels and pay rises are being fairly decided.
06/04/2017 12:11 BST

If We Lose Focus, Progress On Gender Equality Can Easily Be Lost

It's important to look where we've come from and celebrate the milestones on our journey. But we need to keep a firm eye on the destination and make sure we keep moving forwards. If we lose focus or take our foot off the pedal, progress on gender equality can easily be lost.
10/03/2017 16:50 GMT

Pregnancy Discrimination: The Government Is Sitting On Its Hands

With evidence that pregnancy discrimination is at shocking levels, and has almost doubled in a decade, the Government urgently needs to act. We have outlined the steps the Government needs to take, from high-profile leadership to practical help for employers, abolishing the employment tribunal fees that prevent dinosaur bosses being taken to task, and ensuring women have access to the advice and help they need.
18/01/2017 14:38 GMT

Shared Parental Leave Is an Important Step Towards the Wider Cultural Change We Need

In the next parliament Liberal Democrats want to start a dad revolution by tripling paternity leave to encourage new dads to spend more time with their child in those vital early weeks and months after birth. Most fathers want to spend more time with their new baby - and we know it makes a positive difference for children when they do. We also want to extend free early years education to all two year olds. We know that pressure to budget for childcare costs doesn't just start when a child is two years old, and that the costs can prevent parents from returning to work.
10/04/2015 23:42 BST

Benchmarking Business Ethics

For decades, a company's performance has been measured almost exclusively in economic terms. Social and environmental issues such as health and safety in garment factories in Bangladesh, the use of conflict minerals in our mobiles, the privacy policies of internet service providers or forced labour on our doorstep have been seen as immaterial to how a company should be valued and how investors should assess performance. This is finally - and thankfully - changing.
18/12/2014 07:32 GMT

Shared Parental Leave Will Strengthen Families and Businesses

Mums and adopters will have real choice about when they return to work, dads will have more time to bond with their children, children will have better outcomes, while employers will benefit from lower staff turnover and having a workforce that is more flexible and motivated. And who wouldn't want that?
02/10/2014 17:12 BST

Why Wellbeing at Work Should Matter to Us All

The government strongly believes that progressive workplace practices have a vital role to play in increasing productivity and supporting a stronger economy. A greater focus on wellbeing at work will benefit everyone, building both a stronger economy and a fairer society.
19/12/2013 17:01 GMT

The Knowledge Gap Is Holding Back Future UK Engineering Talent

Startling research released to mark the start of <em>Tomorrow's Engineers Week</em> should be a wake up call to employers, educators and the engineering industry to encourage more young people into engineering careers. Everyone who is passionate about apprenticeships, the future of our economy and young people's careers should be concerned that our school children may be rejecting engineering as a career choice because they don't know enough about it. Girls in particular aren't attracted to engineering as a career option.
06/11/2013 20:18 GMT

Our Children Shouldn't Grow Up Thinking Looks Are the Most Important Thing in Life

Parents can despair when they hear their seven-year old daughter complaining about feeling fat, or see their teenager struggle with insecurity about her looks. Young girls in particular are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images of beauty - images they can never live up to. The images of beauty we see in the media are all pretty much the same - it's as if there's only one way of being beautiful. I'd like to see a much broader mix of people in magazines and on TV, to help young people of every size, body shape and skin tone feel that there is a place for them.
30/07/2013 17:40 BST

It's Been a Year of Success for the Body Confidence Campaign - But Where Next?

We need to open the debate up further and to talk more openly. We already understand how low body confidence can affect 15 year old girls. But what happens when those 15 year old girls reach 25, 35, and 45? How does their low body confidence translate into social confidence? How does it affect their performance in the workplace? How does it affect their families? The government is already doing a lot to <a href="" target="_hplink">support women</a>, but we also need to ensure that we can nurture and support the aspirations of women and girls.
28/12/2012 18:33 GMT

APPG Body Image Report Is Just One Part of a Larger Campaign

We're currently planning a retailer roundtable on diversity and retouching to deepen the debate on the use and prevalence of retouching and the lack of diversity - whether shape, age or colour - in the media. We want to get all sides talking to come to a shared idea of what responsible retouching and real diversity looks like.
12/06/2012 16:39 BST

Body Image Education

As a society, we need to open up a conversation about our bodies. We need to ensure that body image and media literacy education remain high up on the political agenda by encouraging initiatives like those organised by Body Gossip.
19/07/2011 14:12 BST