Two bits of good news and one bit of bad news about women in the upper echelons of influence in Nottingham. ((NB this blog post is not about the supposedly high ratio of women to men in Nottingham. My guess that this rumour came from over 100 years ago, when many young women moved to the city to work in the lace trade, giving the city the reputation of a good place to go if you were looking for a wife. Sex ratios kinda sort themselves out through the generations, however, and I don’t think it’s true any longer))
Firstly, as Alistair Campbell wrote when he visited here a few weeks ago, there are a large amount of women in positions of influence in the city and county:
Nottinghamshire’s great and good were out in force, including the chief constable, the city council’s chief executive, the head of the probation service, the governor of a sex offenders’ prison, the sheriff (yes the sheriff of Nottingham, surely the most famous sheriff title in the world), the high sheriff, the university’s pro-vice chancellor, a former chief nursing officer, the head of children’s services … and every single one of them was a woman. Also there was the country’s first female black High Court judge.
In addition the whole evening was put together by a woman, aforementioned High Sheriff Amanda Farr, and Mental Health Research UK founded by a woman, Clair Chilvers. The only exception to this phenomenal female domination was the Lord Lieutenant … and I warned him that on current trends he would end up being replaced by the first Lady Lieutenant.
Hooray! In my work as a councillor, I’ve met only a few of them, but it’s great to hear the rest are there. I hope it’s a sustainable cohort of women of influence.
Secondly the Council, local women and women’s groups, are launching a campaign to find 100 Women of Influence in time for International Women’s Day in March.
The details of that are here.
But the bad news is the composure of the board of the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, as listed in the papers of a council select committee meeting yesterday.
The Shadow Board consists of:
- Colin Walton, Chairman UK and Ireland, Bombardier (Chair)
- Peter Varnsverry, Head of Manufacturing, Laing O’Rourke
- Peregrine Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire
- David Robinson, President, Speedo
- Richard Horsley, Board Member, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce
- Prof. John Coyne, Vice Chancellor, University of Derby (on behalf of the University of Derby, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University)
- Cllr Jon Collins, Leader, Nottingham City Council
- Cllr Kay Cutts, Leader, Nottinghamshire County Council
- Cllr Harvey Jennings, Leader, Derby City Council
- Cllr Andrew Lewer, Leader, Derbyshire County Council
Presumably they’re all qualified to be there and they are there as a result of the other work they do. But a quick cast down the list of names shows that only Kay Cutts from Notts County Council is female.
Given that we have just established that are a large number of women already successfully occupying senior roles in civic society in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at least, it’s a shame that so few of them were translated into representation on the LEP.