By Fleur Butler CWO Yorkshire.
The Conservative women’s annual conference in Leicester this year was open to all women irrespective of party and the theme was #AskHerToStand (with thanks to 50:50 Parliament). The room was full of politically engaged and inspirational women.
At 99 years old the CWO is the oldest female political group in the world. Its main aim then and now is to get more women into public life, with training and support. So don’t let men talk for women, stand forward as these women role models have done.
Brilliant panellist, Heather Wheeler MP, talked about how she started as a school governor, became a councillor, then leader of the council and is now an MP. At the age of 58 she also broke the mould by being one of the older new MPs. With women having flexible career paths, often due to caring responsibilities, it is vital that older women come forward. What a role model.
Fantastic Maria Caulfield MP, explained how she never considered going in to politics from her South London estate, it wasn’t what girls did from places like that! She trained as a nurse and was providing care on a cancer ward until someone else asked her to stand as a councillor. Then she was asked her to stand as an MP. The rest is history. As a nurse she said she could make a difference to individuals every day, as an MP she can make a difference to communities every day.
So start your political career now!
As did Sheba Sogol, delegate, now standing as a councillor in Twickenham.
As did Gabriella Giles, delegate, now standing as a councillor in Chiswick.
As did Lynda Chilton, panellist, Chairman of Derbyshire County Council.
Build your political CV the way that works for you.
And what does my political career looks like? Fleur Butler, National Deputy Chairman, CWO and previously: Leader of Richmondshire District Council, Leader of the Opposition, MEP Candidate Yorkshire, Candidate finalist for a constituency seat 19 times, Member of the Council of Europe as an election monitor, Chairman of Finances at the council, Campaigned as a local councillor, elected School Governor. I also worked and had 4 kids.
So start now and think what your political career will look like, dont wait to be asked just sign up to stand here and 50:50 will help you take the next step on the way to Westminster. Everything is possible.