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Friday 06 September 2019

Julia Gillard: An FDA centenary lecture

Julia Gillard Strand Group-31-847

As part of the FDA’s centenary celebrations, we are delighted to announce that Julia Gillard will be delivering a lecture entitled: 'Gender Equality at the top – how do we get there?'

Gillard is the first and only woman to serve as Prime Minister of Australia and is currently the Chair of King’s College London’s Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL). Following her lecture, she will be joined by Antonia Romeo, Department for International Trade Permanent Secretary and Civil Service Gender Champion, for conversation and questions from the audience.

The event will mark the launch of the FDA’s partnership with the GIWL as part of our efforts to expand support for women leaders in the civil service. This move follows feedback from the FDA’s 5,000 strong Women’s Network, who told us they wanted to better understand how women can progress to the top of the career ladder.

This partnership includes joint research with King’s College London on flexible working arrangements in the civil service, which the FDA commissioned to ascertain the real issues members face when trying to achieve a sustainable work life balance. While we know the civil service has greatly improved its promotion of flexible working, in realty excessive workloads and an out-of-date culture of presenteeism mean it’s increasingly difficult for FDA members to progress their career while working outside of the standard nine-to-five, five-day working pattern. Having access to flexible working is something that affects all our members and we’re excited to share our research and lobby for change.

The FDA has been the voice of women leaders in the civil service for 100 years. From appointing a representative to the Civil Service Equal Pay Committee in 1924, to electing our first woman chair Alix Kilroy in 1944, to campaigning to abolish the marriage bar in 1946, the struggle for equality has defined the work of the FDA.

Today, we continue to champion gender equality, challenging equal pay in the courts and growing our Women into Leadership conference series. Our partnership with GIWL will help us to continue this work and support the next generation of women leaders.

The lecture takes place at Bush House in London on 26 September 2019 and will be available to watch live online, starting at 7.00pm. FDA’s Scottish Government Branch are also hosting a screening at St Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG.

If you would like to attend the Edinburgh screening, or arrange a screening at your office, please get in touch by emailing fda100@fda.org.uk.

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