Female leaders from the world of Co-ops met ahead of International Women’s Day at special event

Posted by Rob Smyth | 07/03/2019 | Category: Corporate


An actress brought the story of the suffragette movement to a life as part of a special event designed to shine a light on female equality and empowerment.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the fourth Co-operative Women’s Voices Event saw prominent women from across the Midlands come together to take part in a range of seminars, workshops and roundtables tackling a range of subjects.

The Harvest Fields Centre, in Sutton Coldfield, played host to a one person show looking at the suffragette story along with discussions on women in leadership, career progression, gender equality and ending violence against women.

Among the speakers at the event were Margaret Casley-Hayford, who chairs the board of Shakespeare's Globe, and was formerly chair of ActionAid UK and company secretary and head of legal services for leading retailers the John Lewis Partnership, and Dorothy Francis, who has over 30 years’ experience in advising co-ops and social enterprises on how to grow.

Elaine Dean, Central England Co-operative President and one of the event organisers, said: “I am so proud to have been involved in a great event designed to highlight topics ranging from women in leadership at work to putting an end to domestic violence.

“As part of celebrations for International Women’s Day, this event allowed like-minded women from all walks of life to come together to debate, discuss and learn how we can support one another.

“We also enjoyed talking about the importance of co-operation and the co-operative movement and the vital role it plays in working to empower women to continue to face challenges head on and strive for improved equality of opportunities.

“Events like these are important and allow everyone involved to use their voices to talk about their successes as well as the challenges they face,”

A total of 80 people attended the event, which also included a display of a unique project marking 100 years since women received the vote in the form of 50 life-size cut outs created by local people.


About The Author: Rob Smyth

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Promoting the great work of Central England Co-operative across all forms of media.