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The Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group

The Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group brings together Parliamentarians, businesses, stakeholders and other interested parties to promote and facilitate discussion around women and work.

About the Group

The Women and Work APPG was constituted at the beginning of 2016 in response to the increasing public and political focus on the role of women in the workforce, and the acknowledgement from Government that the UK economy underuses women’s talents and misses out on a “huge economic prize”. The APPG provides a forum to constructively examine and debate the role that policy makers can play to deliver gender balance within the economy. It also allows Members of Parliament and interested stakeholders to examine the responsibilities of employers and explore what more is required from the private, public and third sectors to deliver the Government’s ambitions for women and work.

In January 2017 the APPG launched its first ever annual report, Women Returners. The recommendations helped to shape policy with the introduction of £5m funding for returnships in the Spring Budget. In 2017 the APPG programme is focused on making the industrial strategy work for women.

Group chairs

Jess Phillips MP
Labour, Birmingham Yardley


Jess Phillips has been the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley since 2015. She has committed her life to improving the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable, and spent five years working for Women’s Aid supporting and defending women.

Jess became a councillor in 2012 through the Labour Future Candidates Programme. In this role she worked tirelessly to support residents, with her work being recognised when she became Birmingham’s first ever Victims Champion.

Gillian Keegan MP
Conservative, Chichester


Gillian was elected as the MP for Chichester in 2017. Having spent 25 years working and living abroad, working in the manufacturing, banking and IT industries, Gillian switched her focus to politics and was first elected as a local councillor in October 2014. In May 2015 she stood as a parliamentary candidate in St Helens South and Whiston, Merseyside, where she gained second place for the Conservatives for the first time.

Gillian is particularly interested in improving career opportunities for school leavers and attracting more business investment. She is a great advocate for high quality apprenticeships, having started her career as an apprentice at Delco Electronics aged 16 – an opportunity which gave her the right start in life to go on and build a successful career.

Information on all the group’s officers can be found here.

Campaign Updates

Women and Work APPG launches its first annual report: Women Returners

Women and Work APPG launches its first annual report: Women Returners

A cross party group of MPs yesterday called on the Government and employers across the country to do more to help women enter and re-enter the workforce.

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Why Aren’t Women Working? Minister calls for increased flexible working

Why Aren’t Women Working? Minister calls for increased flexible working

At Conservative Party conference (3.10.16), Government Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP recognised that more women are working than ever before but said that more needs to be done to encourage flexible working.

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Why Aren’t Women Working? Labour Women and Equalities Spokesperson calls for hard targets to get women into work

Why Aren’t Women Working? Labour Women and Equalities Spokesperson calls for hard targets to get women into work

At Labour conference yesterday (26.9.16), the Shadow Minister for Women, Angela Rayner MP called on the Government to do more to get women into work.

Read More

View the The Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group Updates Archive »

Group Sponsors

The Group is supported by a range of organisations across the business world who help fund the running of the Group via its secretariat, Connect Communications.

At Centrica, we strongly believe that diversity within a workforce leads to a successful organisation, and we’re keen to ensure our culture and working practices are fit for purpose to attract and retain the best talent, both male and female. We therefore welcome the establishment of the APPG and fully support its commitment to gender equality in the workplace. We look forward to working with parliamentarians of all parties to progress this important agenda.


At IPSE our statistics show one of the fastest growing groups within the huge rise in self-employment is women. Why are woman choosing freelancing, is it because it offers a better work life balance,  it suits particular female skills such as multi-tasking and good communication skills,  or are they better problem solvers? And what about the downsides, the loneliness, having to run a business, setting the right rates, getting paid on time?  Issues that the Women in Work APPG can effectively highlight to the Government and the outside world.



More than half the population of the UK is female but only 20% of businesses are owned by women. We are determined to help female business owners by making available to them our reach, expertise, knowledge, buildings and infrastructure, finance, mentoring, and connectivity. We all know these things can make such a difference and is as valuable as any money we can lend to them. For that reason we are delighted to be sponsoring the Women and Work APPG.


Roy O’Shaughnessy, Chief Executive of Shaw Trust, said:

“Shaw Trust is delighted to sponsor the Women and Work APPG. As an employment, learning and skills charity, we work towards building a society in which everyone has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential in the workplace. Gender equality is an important part of realising workplace diversity and we are committed to working with the Women and Work APPG to achieve this ambition.”


The University of Sussex is proud to support the work of the APPG, and is committed to both equality and driving change in the workplace to create opportunities for all to succeed. We are excited to be working the APPG for Women and Work to ensure our female students and staff can thrive in their careers without barriers to study  and employment.



If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Group please contact

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