Suffragette – Made by Women About Women for Everyone

Posted on October 9th, 2015 by

I was fortunate enough to see the regional preview of Suffragette this week, thanks to Bath Film Festival and the Bath branch of the Women’s Equality Party. It was a profound experience.

It’s hard to believe that the amazing story of the women (and some men) has not been a major film before. It seems it needed a group of women to make it. (Another first is that it was the first film allowed to be shot actually in the Houses of Parliament.)

Here’s a trailer to whet your appetite. (If you can’t open it this is the link).

The film tells the story of the campaign for votes for women through the eyes of a fictional character. Maud is a working class woman working in a laundry; a life of grindingly hard work. Carey Mulligan was excellent in the role. Her performance was nuanced and well acted. I’m pleased to say the film does not ‘demonise’ men at all. They get a reasonably sympathetic hearing within the mores of the time.

Finding female actors to take part was a doddle, thrilled to have a major film where they predominate. Apparently wasn’t that easy to find men who wanted to take part. One of the producers, Alison Owen said:

“It did amuse me that a few people [men] responded saying, ‘There’s not enough for them to do, they’re just reacting to the women.’ Welcome to the world of actresses.”

All the major players in this film – producer, director, writer, actors – are female. That’s cause for celebration in itself.  The  team behind Suffragette are :

Directer Sarah Gavron, producer Alison Owen & Faye Ward, and the writer was Abi Morgan.


To be honest, it’s hard for me to be objective about this film; the topic is so close to my heart. I loved it. Do go see it. I went sporting my purple and green ribbons tied onto my handbag!

Speak Up, my audio programme for women who want to be heard. More details are here.

Photo of the women courtesy of Variety magazine.


Book Review – Be Gender Smart by Inge Woudstra

Posted on October 6th, 2015 by

“Self promotion isn’t nice”

So begins one of the sections in Inge’s Woudtra’s new book Be Gender Smart. More on that ‘niceness’ later.

I get sent lots of books to review so I will ‘fess up and say I didn’t actually buy this. It was sent as a gift with a lovely inscription, for which many thanks, Inge! However, I would have bought this book because it brings together a lot of information in one place in a very readable format, with practical advice.

Why Do Women Leave Their Jobs?

Posted on October 1st, 2015 by

One reason oft cited as to why there are so few women in senior positions, is that women opt out before they get to a sufficient level of seniority. Firms who are finding it difficult to retain women and who have few women in senior posts, say women leave often because of ‘caring’ responsibilities. While this may be true of some women I think it’s only a small part of the picture.

Women in Banking – A very rare breed

Posted on September 29th, 2015 by

While women wield substantial purchasing power and make up half (50%) of the UK workforce, just 32% of managers and 28% of senior executives in the UK are female.

Statistics show that banking is an even more male dominated business. The number of female managers in the financial sector is similar to the national average (34%), but just 11% of corporate managers and senior executives in banking are women.

3 Words to Make You Smile

Posted on September 25th, 2015 by

Here is a short version of a much longer exercise that appears in RenewYou. Try it and see what you come up with.
Take a sheet of paper…

“The men won’t like it.” Really?

Posted on September 22nd, 2015 by

I had two very contrasting experiences this month. Both were very illuminating on the topic of how companies respond to the challenge of bringing a better balance of women into the management pipeline. The experience of women working in those companies is poles apart. Let me share them with you (obviously no names).

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