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Sue Ashtiany, head of employment law for Nabarro Nathanson and Duncan Fisher, director of Fathers Direct, have been...
Sue Ashtiany, head of employment law for Nabarro Nathanson and Duncan Fisher, director of Fathers Direct, have been appointed as commissioners to the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said:

'I am pleased to announce these two appointments to the Equal

Opportunities Commission. I am certain they will support Julie

Mellor, the chair, in achieving the aims of the commission, helping

the government to bring about a society which promotes opportunity

for everyone, and where diversity is a source of competitive

advantage and high productivity'.

Ms Mellor said:

'Mothers and fathers struggle in private to do a good job looking

after their children and working to earn money for their families.

The Equal Opportunities Commission works for public action by

employers and governments to give parents real choices about how they

do both jobs between them.

'I'm really pleased that Sue Ashtiany's reappointment as a

commissioner means we will continue to benefit from her employment

law expertise.

'Duncan Fisher, director of Fathers Direct, will bring great passion

to the EOC's work to encourage both mother- and father-friendly

employment practices and family services. I'm thrilled that Patricia

Hewitt has appointed Duncan as a commissioner for the Equal

Opportunities Commission.'

Sue Ashtiany

Sue Ashtiany is a solicitor and a partner in the firm of Nabarro

Nathanson where she heads the Employment and Discrimination Law

Group. She is also a non-executive director of Channel 4, an honorary

fellow of Harris Manchester College and a member of the Court of

Oxford Brookes University. Sue has already served one three-year term

as a commissioner and has been appointed as a result of an open

recruitment process.

Duncan Fisher

Duncan Fisher is director and co-founder of Fathers Direct, which

promotes shared parenting/caring roles between women and men.

Duncan's work with Fathers Direct has already involved him in working

with the EOC on work/life balance issues. Duncan is also a founder

Trustee of the Travel Foundation, which promotes social and economic

development and environmental protection in international tourism.


1. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975, that established the Equal

Opportunities Commission (EOC), allows for a body of between eight

and 15 commissioners, including a chair (currently Julie Mellor)

and one or two deputy chairs. These appointments will bring the

present number to 13.

2. Commissioners are appointed by the secretary of state for the

Department of Trade and Industry, usually for a three-year period.

They are expected to work a minimum of 12 days per annum for which

they receive a daily fee of£134.

3. Three commissioners terms of appointment end this December (Sue

Ashtiany, Sylvie Pierce and Tesse Akpeki). Sue Ashtiany has already

served one term of three years and has been appointed as part of the

recent open recruitment process.

4. The new appointments will last until December 2006. Neither of the

new commissioners declared any recent political activities.

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