This year is the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, in which some women first won the right to vote in Britain. This is an important milestone for Manchester as Emmeline Pankhurst founded the suffragette movement from her family home close to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, this kick started an angry uprising by fearless radicals, feminists and socialists.
The motto of these brave women was ‘Deeds not Words’ and it is just as relevant today as we make a stand for gender equality in our ever evolving media industry. I know from personal experience women feel like they have to “bust a gut” to get the same kind of respect that comes more easily to men in the same position. Although times are changing, the days of the Mad Men era don’t seem that far behind us and we still have a long way to go.
We should be proud that Manchester was a natural place for a movement such as the Suffragettes to begin. We are incredibly lucky to have such a huge talent pool of free thinking, independent and creative women in our city.
Let’s make 2018 the year when we stand up and REPRESENT! As the inspiring Julie Hesmondhalgh said at the Women In Media conference last year, “Every woman in the media has been inspired by somebody and it’s your duty to pass that inspiration on.”