Spirit of Women Conferences



In our 150th anniversary year, Fawcett have been awarded funding from Spirit of 2012 to present two conferences and launch a small grants programme called Spirit of Women Changemakers.

The Spirit of Women Conference is part of a wider Spirit of Women initiative to mark and celebrate the iconic moment in 1918 when women first won the right to vote, and will focus on the power of women and men to drive forward change in their communities, their workplaces or in their own lives with particular emphasis on the voluntary, cultural, sporting and physical activity sectors. The conference will bring individual community activists and organisers together with those who have driven change at the highest level to identify the most powerful ways to create change.

The conference will have three themes, which will be explored through a mixture of presentations, panel discussions, interactive workshops, networking and art:

Women’s health and wellbeing – including ending violence against women and girls, healthy relationships, objectification, resilience & positive body image and the role of physical activity and sport in supporting these aims
Women in the economy – including the role of cultural representation of women and girls and education in, closing the gender pay gap and balancing work and family life
Women into public life and political representation – including diversity of participation and voice with a particular focus on disabled women, BAME women, LGBT women, women with caring responsibilities and older and younger women with special emphasis on the role of the media, culture and the voluntary sector

The conferences will be held across two venues: 12th November 2016, 10am-5pm at St Thomas’ Hospital in London which will also feature our members’ AGM, and 19th November 2016, 10am-5pm at The Studio in Manchester, where we will be launching the grants programme.


Key speakers include: 

Dame Jenni Murray, Journalist, broadcaster and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour
June Eric-Udorie, Journalist
Baroness Jane Campbell, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group
Stella Creasy, MP
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, UK Black Pride
Kajal Odedre, Senior Campaigns Advisor, Change.org
Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary, UNITE
Caroline Criado Perez, Journalist, broadcaster and campaigner
Esther Bunting, Spirited Bodies

Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party
Joeli Brearly, Pregnant then Screwed
Frances Ryan, Guardian journalist
Gail Heath, Manchester Women’s Aid
Becky Olaniyi
Esther Bunting, Spirited Bodies
Jess Phillips, MP

Buy tickets for Manchester

Buy tickets for London

We have a special ticket offer for members of Fawcett – attend for free! If you are a member and you recruit a new member to the Fawcett Society, you can come to the London or Manchester conference for FREE! Simply call (0203 598 6154) or email us (events@fawcettsociety.org.uk) with the name of the person you have recruited, and when we have verified them, we’ll give you a unique code to get your ticket for free. Get recruiting! If you’re not a member yet, sign up here. One free ticket only per member.

We have a whole host of assistance in place including:

  • BSL translators throughout the conference (available on request)
  • Wheelchair accessibility throughout
  • Hearing loops
  • Free places for carers/assistants
  • Brail versions and large print of all papers (available on request)
  • Captioned videos after the conference
  • Chill out spaces

We have no all able-bodied panels on the main stage and will accommodate any other needs you have as best we can. Just get in touch with lizzy.jones@fawcettsociety.org.uk.

We will also have gender neutral toilets, a crèche and breastfeeding spaces.


10:00 – 11:00 Arrival, registration and coffee

11:00 – 11:30 Welcome, scene setting and purpose

11:30 – 12:45 Theories of change
Bringing together women who have made change in different ways, through individual, collective and direct action, this panel discussion will explore how we can best go about change.

12:45 – 13:15 Making change in our communities
Delegates will participate in engaging sessions to encourage networking, collaboration and the generation of ideas for how we can each drive forward change in our communities, workplaces or own lives.

13:15 – 14:30 Lunch (and Members’ AGM at the London Conference)

14:30 – 15:30 Interactive Workshops
Delegates will have the opportunity to attend fun, practical and creative workshops focused on how we can use art, networking or social cohesion to make change.

15:30 – 16:45 Questions to our inspirational Change Makers
Our panel of inspiring speakers will reflect on the key issues explored throughout the day and how they have driven change, particularly through breaking down gender stereotypes. Delegates will be encouraged to question our panel and get advice on their own ideas to drive change

16:45 – 17:00 Closing keynote: ‘The power of women and men to generate to change in their communities.’

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