Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

International Women's Day 2020 in Greater Manchester

Influential and prominent women in Greater Manchester speak about the work we are doing towards equality and what we still need to do.

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes: “Imagine a world where, in every area of life, there were as many women leaders as men. Imagine the talent that would be unleashed, the transformational shift they would bring.”

“We owe it to our daughters – and our sons – to aim high, to stand on the shoulders of those exceptional women who have already broken down barriers, to push the agenda for women’s equality as far and as fast as we can.”

Leader of Tameside Council Cllr Brenda Warrington: “As the first female leader of both Tameside Council since it was constituted over 40 years ago, and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund since it was formed over 95 years ago, it is clear to me that despite advances there is still so much work to be done if we are to achieve equality in the work place. For me, the clear aim above all others should be to achieve pay parity in the workplace.

In 1970, Barbara Castle led the passage of the Equality Pay Act, and here we are 50 years later still aspiring to achieve its core tenets. It is just not good enough that in both the public and private sectors across the city we are still striving to achieve this, this which should be one of the most basic of workplace principles.”

Leader of Stockport Council Cllr Elise Wilson: “Since becoming the Leader of Stockport Council I’m really pleased to have created a gender balanced cabinet and introduced a new portfolio for Inclusive Neighbourhoods. I also successfully brought a motion to council adopting recommendations made by the Fawcett Society to encourage more women into politics, such as shared parental leave for councillors. My ambition is for there to be a better gender balance across our chamber as a whole and at a GM level.

"I want to see a diverse range of women represented within this. In Stockport, I’m proud that our leader, mayor and chief executive are all women. We’re marking this year’s International Women’s Day with two new exciting events that will celebrate the contributions of women to our borough – one for our community leaders and one for young people. I firmly believe that we can all be the positive force that taps the person next to us and encourages them to go further than they think they can. We should all aim to be each other’s hand up.”

Joanne Roney, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council: "As Manchester City Council's  first female chief executive, my passion is to ensure that there are no barriers to women succeeding in the council or the city as a whole.  I am proud to lead an organisation whose senior leadership team is predominantly women and where more than half the elected members of the council are women. This is the city of the Pankhursts and many other strong, inspiring women, where equality of opportunity is embedded in the DNA of Manchester.  It is a city where we will always strive to ensure that women's voices are heard and our decisions will always take into consideration and reflect women's rights across the city."  

Alison Mckenzie-Folan, Chief Executive of Wigan Council: "I want our future generation to grow up in a world which doesn’t discriminate according to gender, but celebrates our differences and gives us the confidence to be who we want to be."

Pam Smith, Chief Executive, Stockport Council: "I am proud of Greater Manchester having so many female Chief Executives across our 10 districts, leading our City Region and paving the way for more women to be in positions of power.  There is still much to do to achieve equality in all areas so we are relentlessly focussed on achieving parity of esteem and power for women."

Dr Carolyn Wilkins OBE, Chief Executive, Oldham Council: “I’m proud to be the first woman Chief Executive for Oldham. Equality and diversity should always be at the heart of how we change and transform local government, and what it achieves. Whilst in Oldham I have been privileged to be able to support and coach many women who want to be leaders in their community and this year I have been truly inspired to work alongside Samah.  Samah is our first female youth mayor from an Asian background. Her energy and confidence has renewed my passion to help the next generation of diverse, young leaders.”

Sara Todd, Chief Executive, Trafford Council: “The best part of my job is listening to the great ideas and perspectives of our residents and staff.  Listening every day to everyone, whatever their background or role, and responding to what we hear is central to making Trafford an even more inclusive and equal place.”     

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dawn Docx : “I am very proud to be the first female Deputy Chief Fire Officer in Greater Manchester and to fly the flag for women in the fire service.

“I am personally committed to making GMFRS a welcoming organisation and it is something all staff across the service are working hard on as we deliver against our inclusivity strategy and action plan.”

Detective Chief Superintendent, Emily Higham, North West Regional Organised Crime Unit: "As a senior woman in policing, I believe everyone should be supported, respected and given equal opportunities in their career, as I have, regardless of their gender. I have an 11-year old daughter and a number of nieces – I would hate to think they will grow up in a country where they are disadvantaged because of their gender."

Claire Molloy, Chief Executive, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust: "We need to recognise the great progress we’ve made, but we also keep challenging gender stereotypes.

"I’m part of women’s climbing club, approaching its centenary year, yet I was the only female on a large expedition to attempt an unclimbed mountain in the Himalayas.

"It made me realise that the club is still important 100 years on. Even though we’ve achieved a lot, we still need to keeping pushing forward.”

Article Published: 06/03/2020 13:10 PM