To mark International Women’s Day, Mary Macleod, Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth, invited young women from the local area to shadow her in the House of Commons for the day. The theme for the day was ‘Inspiring Change’ and students from Heathland, Gunnersbury Catholic, Brentford School for Girls, Gumley House Convent School, West Thames College and Kingsley Academy participated.
Over 100 students from around the UK took part in the programme organised by Mary in her role as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Parliament. The day was designed to inspire the next generation to consider careers they might not have thought about initially, such as politics, banking and the armed forces.
The students attended a number of events to mark the day, such as a tour of Parliament and a chance to listen in on the various debates taking place in both the Commons and the Lords.
The day ended with an afternoon tea reception in the Speakers Apartments during which all the girls from across the UK came together and were welcomed by The Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP along with the Rt Hon. Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for the Culture, Media and Sport, Women and Equalities.
Mary said: “I was absolutely delighted to see so many MPs and members of staff taking part and inspiring the next generation of leaders. I hope that the young women enjoyed their day and leave with a positive message about political life and how they can get involved.”
Mary continued, “I was impressed by the political awareness, maturity and confidence shown by the young women from my constituency. They suggested some very creative and innovative ideas on how to improve their local area and I hope we can work together to implement some of these in the future. It is important that we continue to work to increase the representation of women in Parliament and I hope that in a few years some of these young women will return as MPs”.