Gender quotas are potentially dangerous because they make women look like token appointments rather than the best candidates for the job, Liz Truss has said.
The minister for women and equalities said she wants to see more women in the Tory ranks but does not believe quotas are the best way of going about it.
"I want to see more women promoted in the Conservative Party and we need to keep women in politics. What I don’t believe in is quotas,” she said.
“I do believe we need to promote more women and remove barriers to women's success. One of the barriers in politics recently has been the attacks on female MPs which are extremely worrying and we need to deal with.
"My view is when you have quotas, when you say ‘we're going to value you because you're a woman rather than the innate talent and skills you bring’, it's potentially dangerous because it implies you're there as a token rather tn a contributor.
"The Labour Party is a good example. The Labour Party has had all-women shortlists since 1997 but a woman has never risen to the top of the Labour Party."
Ms Truss was speaking at the Telegraph’s Women Mean Business Live event in London, where she said that affordable childcare was one of the Government’s priorities.
She said the Government will look at an extension to school nursery provision. “We are looking at the overall issue of how to make childcare affordable for all families in Britain, because there is no doubt it is a major cost,” Ms Truss told the audience.
“Certainly when I go around the country talking to people of a particular age, it is one of the main challenges.
“Schools still operate on a 9am-3pm timetable which doesn’t fit many working lives and that is something we need to look at.”