Women In Public Life Events Report
We are pleased to have successfully completed our series of Women in Public Life events across the nine English regions. The seventeen regional events funded by the Government Equalities Office were held between October 2009 and March 2010 in Oxford, Newcastle, Greenwich, Central London, Cambridge, Norwich, Birmingham, Coventry, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Plymouth, Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester, Manchester and Liverpool. Click here to view the report.
The events aimed to raise awareness and encourage women to enter into public life providing advice and practical tools to counter some of the obstacles women face in getting through the application process.
Over 200 women attended these events and from feedback received from delegates they have proven to be a very positive initiative. We received excellent feedback from the events - 83% of the participants felt the events were either very good or good. Overall, delegates commented that the events were, ‘Very well organised and well thought out’ and that they’d ‘recommend this event to other women.’
The events were led by a WNC Commissioner and featured an inspirational guest speaker who held a public appointment. The speaker used the opportunity to share their experiences of public life, how they overcome the barriers that many women face and also offered useful and insightful advice to participants. Delegates’ comments on the speakers included, ‘presenters were excellent and inspiring’.
Each event followed the same format and consisted of three interactive exercises. The first exercise encouraged delegates to identify the challenges for women entering public life and what can be done to overcome them. As an aide the participants were then provided with two documents explaining the qualities needed for public life and the challenges for women entering public life. The second exercise provided advice and handy tips on how to fill in an application form. The participants were provided with a participant’s toolkit which aimed to assist the women with completing their application form. The toolkit included application form examples, a good practice guide and an application form ‘top tips’ guide. Delegates found the ‘tips and advice very helpful.’ The third exercise was a mock board meeting, aimed at building women’s confidence for participation in meetings. Each participant had an optional role to play and an agenda. The selection of materials presented to the participants aimed to enable women to take the first steps into public life.
Delegates expressed a strong interest for similar future events, ‘we need to have more events like this that can give us a collective voice.’
We’d like to say a very big thank you to all the wonderful speakers, delegates and Commissioners that contributed to this successful series of events.
Through these events we hope to increase the number of women applying for public appointments, to increase the number of successful applications and help increase women’s civic participation. We hope to continue work on this throughout the year.