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Creating Positive Footprints....

International Women’s Day Lecture at House of Commons

It was standing-room only in the Attlee Suite when Dr Paula Bartley gave a vibrant talk to commemorate International Women's Day ‘The Mighty Atom: Ellen Wilkinson MP and Parliamentary Politics 1924-1947. 

We gained a fascinating insight into this dynamic and feisty Parliamentarian, whom Paula brought to life with her witty and vivid descriptions. A contemporary of Nancy Aster, Ellen Wilkinson was a true leader.




Known as ‘Red Ellen’ due to her red hair, she was a founding member of the UK communist party and first female trades union leader before becoming Labour MP for Middlesborough in 1924. After a period away from the House, Ellen re-entered in 1935 as MP for Jarrow, and organized the legendary ‘Jarrow March’. A pioneering politician, as first ever female Minister for Education amongst many achievements she ushered in the 1944 Education Act. 

Parliament is keen to make more of this historic figure and is actively seeking portraits of Ellen Wilkinson for its collection.




During the evening, guests also had an opportunity to meet young women from the Leeds East school academies, along with emerging entrepreneurs and business women from Yorkshire. 




As an additional part of Parliament's IWD celebrations, there was an exhibition in Portcullis House ‘Connecting Girls – Inspiring Futures – Portraits and stories from Yorkshire’ the excellent photographs by Johanna Hilton & Nick Gregan featured young Yorkshire women.




Following the talk and exhibition, Pink Shoe members and guests enjoyed an ‘Aperitivo’ of prosescco and cheese in the Atrium.

Better Made in Britain Debate

At the House of Lords, a round table was held in partnership with All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group
It highlighted the importance of manufacturing in driving forward the UK economy. Focusing on two recent major reports on the sector.

After a warm welcome from the Earl of Erroll, we heard key findings of the APMG’s ‘Making Good’ report into the culture and competitiveness of UK manufacturing.

Then Lee Hopley, Chief Economist of EEF The Manufacturers’ Association presented outcomes from the recent EEF report ‘Backing Britain - a manufacturing base for the future’.




Delegates then heard an inspiring story of successful UK Manufacturing from the charismatic Barry Laden MBE, CEO of East End Manufacturing.






Following the first class presentations, Sue Lawton, International Adviser to WEConnect and to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women & Enterprise, chaired an interactive discussion.




We heard from the highly engaging Professor Mark Hart of the Enterprise Research Centre and Dr John Potter of JP Global, who gave a viewpoint from the Plymouth Manufacturers’ Group. After a lively debate, Sue deftly summed up the discussion and Jill Pay gave thanks to each of the excellent contributors for their informative and fascinating talks.

A full report of the event is being circulated to Parliamentarians by the APMG and is available upon request to: hello@pinkshoeclub.com