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Sam, we’ve Sonia, Mamata, Maya...

Mumbai, Feb. 18: David Cameron conceded there were “not nearly enough” women in his cabinet, asked by a lady in Mumbai what Britain could teach India about making it easier for her gender to succeed professionally.

The British Prime Minister said he needed to do more to address the gender balance in Britain.

During a visit to the Indian headquarters of Unilever in Mumbai, a female employee asked Cameron the question.

He said: “We still have a long way to go. If you look at the top businesses in Britain, there still aren’t nearly enough women in the boardroom. If you look at politics in Britain, there aren’t nearly enough women around the cabinet table.

“I think in every walk of life, whether the judiciary, politics or business, there is a lot further to go. My own view is it isn’t enough just to open up and say we will treat everyone equally, when you are starting from such a position of disadvantage.

“Companies, political parties and other organisations need to actively go out and encourage women to join in, to sign up, to take the course, to become part of the endeavour.”

Cameron said that his wife, Samantha, had repeatedly raised the issue with him, and admitted that despite an increase at the 2010 general election, there were still “not nearly enough” female Tory MPs in Parliament.

“We have made a big change, butů it’s not nearly enough, so we need to do more,” he said. “My wife likes to say that if you don’t have women in the top places, you are not just missing out on 50 per cent of the talent, you are missing out on a lot more than 50 per cent of the talent — and I think she probably has a point.”