A free event to celebrate International Women’s Day organised by The Women’s Organisation in Liverpool will hear from Jackie Weaver, star of the chaotic Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting. Tony McDonough reports
Jackie Weaver became a national hero overnight when she attempted to keep order at a Cheshire parish council Zoom meeting in the face of considerable aggression from male councillors.
Now Liverpool-based social enterprise The Women’s Organisation is offering Jackie a platform to speak, without being shouted at to “read the standing orders”, at an online event to celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8.
She became celebrity in January when a recording of Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting from December was posted on social media and quickly went viral. As chief officer of Cheshire Association of Local Councils, she had only been called in to host the support councillors during the meeting.
But proceedings quickly descended into chaos. Jackie was subject to aggression and abuse by some male participants. The event was also punctuated by hysterical laughter, people muttering under their breath and others taking phone calls. Jackie herself remained cool and professional throughout.
She is an experienced local government professional, having been part of the association for more than 25 years. She is qualified as a clerk, a counsellor and a mediator, skills which came to the fore during the meeting.
Jackie is passionate about encouraging diversity in local councils and would encourage anyone who values their community to get involved. She will deliver this message and offer a fascinating insight into her life and career during the event.
The Women’s Organisation is organising the webinar via its WO Connect initiative (formerly Business Club). This panels event will seek to “find out how women can be inspired and encouraged to go for opportunities”.
It said: “History is full of female pioneers who have pushed boundaries to represent women in a sometimes-all-male dominated field. Women have fought for our rights to vote and taken major strides in sports, science, politics, and medicine – just to name a few.
“This International Women’s Day, The Women’s Organisation is asking: How can we encourage more women to follow their path and become leaders in their own right? And how can we then create culture and structure that ensures they won’t be the last?”
Joining Jackie Weaver on the panel will be Chrissi McCarthy, managing director of Constructing Equality and founder of The Duck Project. Constructing Equality helps organisations develop high end, research backed strategies around equality and diversity using tools such as and fairness, inclusion and respect.
In her role as managing director, Chrissi, has developed leading research and helped hundreds of organisations, including University of Manchester, NG Bailey and Graham improve their cultures.
Chrissi creates practical solutions to the challenges of managing inclusive teams. The most popular of these, The Duck Project, is helping individuals understand, identify and address workplace challenges.
Click here to find out more and to register for the event.