As International Women’s Day approaches, we’ve spoken to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives …
URSULA LIDBETTER is the Chair of the Co-operative Group and CEO of Lincolnshire
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
It is a chance to think about those parts of the world where women don’t have power over their lives. It also gives us an opportunity to reflect on and appreciate the great strides we have made. For example, my grandmother wrote ‘votes for women’ on the blackboard at school. Now, it’s hard to imagine a time when women didn’t have the vote.
What is your experience as a woman in a co-operative-focused organisation?
Co-operatives are about treating everyone equally and reflecting the diversity of our memberships. I’m proud to be part of a movement which encourages such a diverse range of views and backgrounds and aims to represent them all.
What can be done to improve equality within the movement?
Strong role models are the key to further improvement in the future. If women can see people like them working in a range of roles – whether it’s a female store manager, pharmacist, member of the board or anything else – it’s a good example. It shows that they can aspire to do the same.
Or return to the International Women’s Day 2014 collection
Which female co-operators inspire you? Let us know in the comments below.