Chairman, Pink Shoe Steering Group
My background is business management; in advertising, the private medical sector, a 7-year Employment Department project developing technical and vocational education and the House of Commons where I worked for 18 years. During this part of my career I developed effective working relationships with Members and their staff, from newly elected Members, through to Committee Chairmen and Ministers. I saw my role as facilitating their work in Parliament, rather than ‘policing’ it.
I was appointed as the first female Serjeant at Arms in 2008, a formal job with a very formal uniform. My responsibilities as Serjeant were security, access and ceremonial and I loved every moment of it until I retired in the spring of 2012.
My passion is to help people to develop, grow and succeed, from primary school children who are struggling to learn to read through to entrepreneurs finding their way in business and female senior managers who are seeking to crack that ultimate glass ceiling to join the Board.
I’m a founder and an active member of the Pink Shoe Club, a businesswomen’s network affiliated to Parliament that recognises, develops and celebrates women’s unique talents and skills that complement those of their male colleagues. I am Chairman of the Pink Shoe Senate, the strategic planning group that seeks to drive the organisation forward to benefit women (and men!) across the world. I lead on the development of the UK Economic Blueprint for Women.