A women’s business network has said it is disappointed that it has taken the introduction of a new Equality Bill to make employers address the issue of inequality in the workplace.

Toni Eastwood, training director for Everywoman, said that the new bill is a welcome amendment to existing legislation as it represents a move towards equality.

Referring to the equal pay audit, which will require companies with over 250 staff to disclose any disparities between male and female pay, she said it was "disappointing that ‘naming and shaming’ is necessary".

However she said that by encouraging companies to offer "equal working conditions to both men and women" it will "ensure the best talent is attracted to [a] company, regardless of their background".

The bill aims to end discrimination and one of the tactics proposed is to extend positive action measures that encourage employers to make their companies more representative of society as a whole.

This would mean there would not be a disproportionate amount of employees of one gender or race, for instance.