Next year we’re going to take a closer look at the experiences of many women in public life in online events chaired by our Centre Director, Kezia Dugdale. Returning to our hugely popular Power Hour format, we’ll be spending 60 minutes talking to a diverse range of female leaders about their early lives, their current work and their hopes and fears for the future. We’re thrilled to reveal the first three speakers in a series which will run throughout 2023:

Ali Goldsworthy – Thursday 26 January at 3.00pm

After a year like no other in British politics, are we more polarised than ever? Why are we prone to be drawn into rival, often deeply antagonistic factions? What can be done to bring people back together? Join us to discuss these questions with Ali Goldsworthy. Ali has been a political advisor and campaigner for more than 20 years. She is a former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats and is the current President at Accord, the world’s first organisation dedicated to helping businesses understand division, what causes it and how they should respond. Ali is also the co-author of “Poles Apart: Why People Turn Against Each Other, and How to Bring Them Together”.

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Claire Hanna MP – Tuesday 7 March at 7.00pm

A second Northern Ireland Assembly election within 12 months looks increasingly likely with no sign of a resolution at Stormont. In May, Sinn Fein became the first nationalist party to win the most seats in the Assembly, entitling the party’s vice-president Michelle O’Neill to take the first minster position. The Democratic Unionist Party came second but refused to nominate a deputy first minister. Without both roles at the head of Northern Ireland’s Executive being filled, the governing body cannot function. As the latest deadline to restore the power-sharing executive is missed, what next? How can this crisis be resolved? What does it take win a Westminster seat? We’ll discuss these questions and more with the SDLP MP for South Belfast, Claire Hanna. Claire was elected in December 2019 and serves as a member on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and is the SDLP’s spokesperson for Europe and International Affairs.

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Lisa Nandy MP – Thursday 9 March at 1.00pm

How big a problem is civic and economic powerlessness in the UK? How has this impacted towns and smaller communities? What can politicians do to address this? These are some of the key questions addressed by Lisa Nandy MP in her new book, “All In: How We Build A Country That Works”. In it, the Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up argues communities should have more control to address issues that matter to them. We’ll be chatting to Lisa about her new book, her 12-year career in politics as the first female MP for Wigan, and her ambitions for the future.

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