LETTER: Self-selecting equal opportunity

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The Independent Online
Sir: Elspeth Howe (letter, 5 January) presents what appear to be optimistic changes to women's employment with the implication that this is due to organisations' membership of Opportunity 2000. May I point out that those organisations that have ta ken membership of Opportunity 2000 are self-selecting. That is, they have already decided to place equal opportunities on their agenda and, I suggest, the same targets would have been reached with or without Opportunity 2000. It is the organisations that have not sought membership which will keep the overall change down to a drop in the ocean.

It was also interesting to see that Lady Howe refers to herself as chairman, while heading an organisation dedicated to the promotion of women. Would a male chair refer to himself as a chairwoman? If we really want "a level playing field", how about starting with the most basic area of discrimination language.

Yours sincerely, SHARON McVEY Ilfracombe,