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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.

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.

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

Launch of the Women and Work APPG’s first annual report

The next meeting of the Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group will look at the impact of diversifying gender roles in the workplace.

In the UK, gendered roles continue to have a significant impact on the workplace. Too often, misconceptions of gender roles mean that women feel that they are shut out of certain sectors, face unfair discrimination or must juggle caring commitments alongside their work.

In order to tackle some of these issues, our perceptions of gender roles must be diversified – at home, in the workplace, and in wider society. To do this, it is just as important to look at the roles of men at home and in the workplace as it is to look at the role of women.

We would be delighted if you could attend our meeting to explore what more needs to be done to support more women in work, and into work, by challenging accepted gender roles.

Date: Wednesday 26 April, 16.00 – 17.00

Venue: Committee Room 6, House of Commons

Register to attend


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Contact the Group

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the Group, please contact Leonie Blakeway at the Group’s secretariat on

Group Officers

The Group is led by a cross-party team of officers, headed by our Group co-chairs, Flick Drummond MP and Jess Phillips MP.



Flick Drummond MP, Co-Chair

Flick lives in Southsea and is married with 4 grown up children. She used to work as an insurance broker, Ofsted lay school inspector and was a member of the TA Intelligence Corps.

Flick is a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. Through the committee’s ongoing work, the various challenges that women face in entering and remaining in the workforce are the focus of many of its discussions. Flick’s work on this committee included the Gender Pay Gap inquiry, where she called for more flexible working conditions to be offered at the start of employment. Her own experience of re-entering the jobs market, after raising her children, has given her a first-hand account of the unique difficulties that women face in the work place.

The Women and Work APPG will be a very important group in highlighting the challenges women face in the workplace. We are fortunate to have a large number of experts, Organisations and Members of Parliament involved with the group, all who have contributions to make which I intend will inform Government policy.



Jess Phillips MP, Co-Chair

Jess Phillips is the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley. Jess 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.

Since becoming a MP in 2015, Jess has continued her fight to support those who need it the most and has been appointed to the Women and Equalities Committee and Backbench Business Committee.

The Women and Work APPG provides a platform for parliament to celebrate and innovate the world of work. With a persistent gender pay gap and a changing working world it is vital that opinion formers keep on the task of improving the role of women. The skills gap and productivity deficit in this country needs to embrace women in the workforce. Women are good for the economy and we must build an economy that’s good for women.



Caroline Flint MP, Vice Chair

At the general election on 7 May 2015, Caroline Flint was re-elected as the Labour MP for Don Valley nearly trebling her majority. She has been the MP for Don Valley since 1997, living near her constituency with her husband Phil Cole who is a Doncaster councillor.  They have three children, now adults, who all went to school in Doncaster.

As a new MP Caroline formed the first All Party Childcare Group which paved the way for Parliament’s workplace nursery. She brought to this her prior experience as a working mum but also as Chair of the Workplace Nurseries Campaign which persuaded Margaret Thatcher’s Government to stop taxing this provision.

She became a Minister in 2003 at the Home Office overseeing tackling organised crime, guns, drugs and Justice and Home Affairs EU policies. This was followed by Minister of State roles in Health, Employment and Welfare reform, Housing and Europe. She is a Privy Counsellor.

After the 2010 General Election Caroline fought a successful campaign against Government plans to give alleged rapists anonymity. She was elected to Labour’s Shadow Cabinet and appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government followed by promotion to Shadow Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change.

Caroline ran for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and chose to stand down from the Shadow Cabinet. She is a member of the Public Accounts Committee and Chair of the PLP Energy and Climate Change Committee.

Caroline worked in local government, the voluntary sector and for a trade union before becoming an MP.  She is the first in her family to go to university and joined the Labour Party in 1979.



Hannah Bardell MP, Vice Chair

Hannah was born and brought up in Craigshill, Livingston and attended Broxburn Academy and the University of Stirling. She started her career in commercial television before moving to manage Alex Salmond’s constituency office working for him as an MSP and MP and working for Ian Hudghton MEP. Hannah then moved on to work for the U.S. State Dept in their Edinburgh Consulate and most recently worked in the Oil & Gas sector initially with Subsea 7 and for the last 2 years as Head of Communications & Marketing for the UK, Africa & Norway with Oil & Gas Service company Stork.

Hannah fought the Livingston seat for the SNP in the 2015 UK general election achieving a majority of 16,843 over the incumbent MP. She is the SNP’s Business, Innovation and Skills Spokesperson.

Through the Women and Work APPG Hannah wants to find all the women who might be in those positions of power currently occupied by men.  She believes that many of them are devoting themselves to being of service rather than contemplating formal leadership and wants to use the APPG to help unlock talent and ensure that when women have those lightbulb moments that the light stays on and lights the path to power.



Baroness Margaret Prosser OBE, Vice Chair

Baroness Prosser entered the House of Lords in 2004. Previously Deputy General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union she was a member of the TUC General Council from 1985 to 1996 and President from 1995/6.

From 1996 to 2001 she was Treasurer of the Labour Party,  an Equal Opportunities Commissioner for 6 years, Low Pay Commissioner for 5 years and Chair of the Women’s National Commission from 2002-2006.

She chaired the Women and Work Commission of enquiry into the gender pay and opportunities gap and its 2006 report “Towards a Fairer Future” was widely acclaimed.

From 2004 to 2010 she was a Non- Executive Director of the Royal Mail and Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Right Commission from 2006 to 2012.

She continues to work on issues of employment and equality for which she was awarded the OBE in 1997. She is currently the vice chair of the Industry and Parliament Trust.


Baroness Uddin, Treasurer

Manzila Pola Uddin is one of the leading pioneers of East London and has been an advocate of women’s rights since her early teens, leading the movements for social justice and human rights with a focus for the empowerment of women. This led her to the frontline of Local Government, subsequently becoming a councillor and elected as Deputy Leader of Tower Hamlets council.

In recognition for her contribution to the community and championing women’s rights, she was the first Muslim woman to enter the House of Lords in 1998.

She has been a member of the Select Committee on European Affairs and has chaired several Government Task Forces including the Prime Minister’s Task Force on women and community cohesion, domestic violence and forced marriage. She was also the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh.

Professionally, she has worked in in local government and more recently, with Addaction, led the Breaking the Cycle Project which was funded by Zurich International. This worked with families affected by drugs and alcohol across the UK.

She believes that the economic emancipation of women is a fundamental bedrock of a just society.  We live in a civilised nation, there is no excuse for why women are paid less than their male colleagues for the same jobs and despite legislation motherhood continues to be a disadvantage whilst childcare is ever more unaffordable.  Nevertheless, and these challenges aside, with new aged technology and increasing numbers of women in education, there are significantly more opportunities for women in the workplace.  I hope through the work of the APPG we can highlight the many good practices and counter social inequity for women wherever they work.



Neil Gray MP, Secretary

Neil Gray is the SNP’s Fair Work and Employment Spokesperson and sits on the SNP’s Social Justice Policy Team at Westminster. Elected in May 2015 to the Airdrie & Shotts seat in central Scotland, Neil has a majority of 8779.

The Women and Work APPG should be a powerful voice to highlight the fundamental barriers that remain for women in the workplace and also to push for a more gender balanced employment market – one of the greatest opportunities for economic growth.

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.”



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

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