THE deputy speaker of the House of Lords believes that women are facing a harder time than ever in trying to get recognition.

Baroness Jill Pikeathley was speaking at Hereford Sixth Form College on Friday (March 8) to promote International Women’s Day.

“I’m appalled about the fact that the number of women seen in public life is diminishing,” she said.

“There are 26 bishops in the UK, but no women, while there are only 20 per cent of women in the House of Commons and 21 per cent in the House of Lords.

“David Cameron wants there to be 50 per cent of public appointments filled by women by 2015, but we are not doing enough.

“We have to aim for equality in interview panels, but I do think that men oversell themselves, whereas women undersell themselves.”

Baroness Pikeathley, who lives at Bishopswood, near Ross-on-Wye, became a peer in 1997 due to her work with carers.

She became chief executive of the National Council for Carers and was chairman of Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

She is currently vice-president of Carers UK, president of the Community Council for Berkshire and a patron of Herefordshire Carers.

In 1975, during International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating March 8 as International Women's Day, a day “for women’s rights and international peace”.

The day is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary General. The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2013 was: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”