Trudy Harrison welcomes the suffrage flag to Cumbria


win          ni

Trudy Harrison MP has been joined by nuclear organisations to welcome the official suffrage flag to Cumbria.

A celebratory event was hosted by the Women in Nuclear (WiN) Cumbria branch, where Trudy Harrison pledged to help address gender equality, in the presence of the iconic flag at St Bees school.

Trudy said; “Having the suffrage flag come to West Cumbria is an absolute privilege. 

“It has given us an important opportunity to honour the courage and determination of the suffragettes, and discuss what we can do together to build on their legacy. 

“For us, this marks the start of our own movement as we continue to address gender equality. It isn’t for women to do alone; we all have a role in this.

“I am also very proud to continue my work with the WiN Cumbria branch, which is progressing well with its programme to ensure our region will continue to be at the forefront of improving gender balance in the nuclear industry.”

The suffrage flag is one of the most iconic emblems in our political history.  It is making its way around the UK on the ‘Suffrage Flag Relay’, marking the Centenary of women winning the right to Vote.

The event was attended by representatives from 30 organisations, who gathered to discuss how they can help reach the target laid out in the recent Nuclear Sector Deal, to move of from the current 22% female workforce to 40% by 2030.

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) hosted the flag for a week, and loaned it to WiN Cumbria for a special afternoon of celebrations. 

Olivia Thompson, Head of Technical Skills and Capability at NNL, said: “Women have played a key part in developing the nuclear sector and it was an enormous privilege for NNL to host the Suffrage Flag as it continues on its tour of the UK. 

“As the only nuclear organisation to have been asked to host the flag, we are very proud to be involved in the Suffrage Flag Relay.”

WiN UK has been working hard to progress gender equality for several years, and developed an ‘Industry Charter’ which organisations can sign to pledge their commitment. The charter now has 56 companies signed up.

Claire Gallery-Strong heads up the WiN Cumbria team, she said; “Having the backdrop of such a powerful symbol as the suffrage flag has really motivated people to play their part in improving gender balance in the local industry.

“Two organisations, Orano and VGC Group, signed the WiN Industry Charter in front of the flag, which made their pledge to gender equality even more poignant. 

“We have since been approached by other companies who want to sign the charter, which is really encouraging.” 

The Suffrage Flag Relay is one of a number of events organised by HM Government to marks 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918, which gave some women (aged over 30 and property owners) the right to vote.

  WiN Suffrage

To register interest in WIN Cumbria email WINCumbria@nuclearinst.com or visit www.nuclearinst.com/women-in-nuclear.