Baroness Mary Goudie chairs debate on gender diversity in politics

Monday, 07 November 2016

House of Commons

As 2016 marks 150 years since the first petition calling for votes for women, Baroness Mary Goudie will chair an open debate at Oxford Brookes University on Tuesday (8 November), about gender diversity in politics.

The debate has been organised as part of the University’s Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice’s Women and Leadership open lecture series.

Professor Simonetta Manfredi, Director of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes University said: “I’m delighted to welcome Baroness Goudie and our three panellists to Oxford Brookes University to take part in this exciting debate, which is taking place on the day when the US may elect its first female president. 

In the UK we now have a second female Prime Minister and currently 29 per cent of all MPs are women – a record high, but are we on the way to achieving gender equality in politics or is this progress still fragile? These and other questions will be discussed.

Professor Simonetta Manfredi, Director of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, Oxford Brookes University

“In the UK we now have a second female Prime Minister and currently 29 per cent of all MPs are women – a record high, but are we on the way to achieving gender equality in politics or is this progress still fragile? These and other questions will be discussed.”

Baroness Mary Goudie is a global advocate for the rights of women and has been a member of the House of Lords since 1998. She is also an adviser to the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and a founding member of the 30% Club steering committee, which aims to influence chairmen into bringing more women onto corporate boards. 

Baroness Goudie will be joined by three guest panellists; Dinti Batstone who since 1999 has served as an elected Councillor for the Liberal Democrats and as Co-Chair of Liberal Democrat Women; Labour City Councillor and Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Education at Oxford Brookes University Dr Michele Paule and Ruth Spellman OBE, Chief Executive of the Workers’ Educational Association – the first woman to be appointed to the role in the Association’s 108 year history. 

This event will be dedicated to the late Jo Cox. 

Last month, Oxford Brookes University was awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of the University’s advancements in gender equality, representation and progression. A dedicated team at Oxford Brookes has been progressing this important area of work, led by Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships, Professor Linda King who said: “Oxford Brookes takes its role in ensuring gender equality very seriously and seeks to foster an environment in which everyone can thrive. 

“The work of Athena SWAN is important in recognising this commitment, but also in identifying and driving further change. It is therefore a great achievement for Oxford Brookes to receive this award.”

The University has a strong history of supporting gender equality amongst staff, students and with partner organisations. The University is also involved with a number of external initiatives ranging from support of Soapbox Science to inspire the next generation of female scientists, to the continued work of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice including recent findings on diversity on boards in academia and the private sector.