Wednesday: Gender Forum speakers

The Gender Forum will look at the role of women in the Co-operative Movement. The speakers will range from the first female General Secretary of the Co-operative Party...

The Gender Forum will look at the role of women in the Co-operative Movement. The speakers will range from the first female General Secretary of the Co-operative Party to Guardian Columnist Polly Tonybee.

Karin Christiansen is the General Secretary of the Co-operative Party and the first woman to hold the position in 95 years. She has worked in international development for many years, and is the founder and director of Publish What You
Fund, Policy Manger with ONE and for many years a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute.

Agnes Bolsø is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She is also the Leader of the project ‘Power and Privilege, Meaning and Management – Gender in the Boardroom’, funded by the Research Council of Norway, as well as the Head of Gender Studies, Deputy in Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, former Editor of Norwegian Journal for Gender Studies.

Speaking at the ‘Women in the boardroom’ event – part of the Gender Forum – Agnes will look at the impact quotas have made in Norway and in Norwegian business.

Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist and broadcaster. She was formerly BBC social affairs editor, columnist and associate editor of the Independent, co-editor of the Washington Monthly and a reporter and feature writer for the Observer.

Her columns and broadcasting never shrink from outspoken criticism of all of the major political parties, and of government as a whole.

Mags Bradbury is the Lead for the Co-operative Group’s National Projects Team.
As the lead for the Co-operative Group’s National Projects Team, Mags leads The Co-operatives work on Co-operative School and Academies, the membership diversity programme and youth engagement programmes.

Mags joined The Co-operative in 2005 to develop a programme to address the lack of diversity within its membership. The work has included the launch of the Women’s Challenge, a programme of monitoring and support for members as well as a wide range of outreach programmes.

Katrina Lidbetter is Government Equalities Office. She is currently responsible for delivery of some specific programmes in the Government Equalities Office including “Think, Act, Report”, a voluntary initiative aimed at medium to large organisations which encourages them to think about gender equality. Katrina joined the Home Civil Service and served in a wide range of policy areas. Katrina graduated with a first class honours from Oxford University as well as successfully studying for the public sector MBA at Imperial College.

Saskia Neibig is a Group Leader and Trustee of the Woodcraft Folk, as well as a Member of the Worker Co-operative Council of Co-operatives UK.

Saskia was born in Germany, and grew up in Newcastle, and has recently completed her A-levels. Always a political activist, Saskia protested against the Iraq War at the age
of 9; helped to run a Climate Change conference alongside The Co-operative in her early teens; and occupied Newcastle University during the student fees protests.

Saskia grew up in the Woodcraft Folk, where, since the age of five she learned about the environment, social justice and about co-operation.

Marloes Nicholls is the Campaign Director, Move Your Money UK.

Graduating as an Economist from Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Marloes is passionate about environmental and social issues and today, acts as the Global Campaign Assistant at Oxfam. She is Campaign

Director at Move Your Money UK, a national campaign to spread the message that individuals can help to build a better banking system by banking with ethical providers such as The Co-operative Bank, Credit Unions and Mutuals.

María Eugenia Pérez Zea is the Chairperson of the ICA Gender Equality Committee, as well as secretary of the Board of Directors of ICA Americas and president of the ICA Americas Committee on Gender Equity.

Maria Eugenia is a specialist in fiscal control
and auditing, administrative law, socioeconomic assessments, and co-operatives.

She studied Law at the University of Medellín (Colombia) where she graduated as a lawyer. She then went on to complete her postgraduate studies at the Pontifical Bolivarian University and the University of Antioquia.

Britta Werner is Company Secretary, and part of the HR team of the Manchester-based worker co-operative Unicorn Grocery. Britta is also a Board member of Co-operatives UK, and has recently received a distinction for MSc in Human Resource Management, through training provided by the co-operative.

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