As part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (West Midland RFCA) linked up with West Midlands Women’s Voice to take part in an event to showcase and discuss the changing roles of women.

Emergency Services Panel chaired by Colonel Maybery

‘In Conversation With Dr Helen Pankhurst’ hosted guest speakers, panels and presentations from a wide variety of organisations and individuals in the West Midlands who are involved in sport, arts and culture, to see how their subject areas are perceived through the eyes of women.

A special uniformed services panel chaired by West Midland RFCA Chief Executive, Colonel Richard Maybery, discussed the topic of women in their respective services and their skills, strengths and challenges faced.

Made up from serving members of the Royal Navy, 22 Signal Regiment, No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service and West Midlands Police, the panel shared their personal experiences and explained how the services are constantly evolving to deliver better outcomes and opportunities for women.

Questions from the audienceQuestions were also invited from the audience to delve further into the importance of having women in the uniformed services for the start of various thought-provoking discussions.

Across the day attendees also had chance to chat to members of D Squadron Royal Yeomanry, 63 Military Intelligence Company and the Royal Signals who were on hand to promote the variety of roles available in the services and the excellent training and adventurous opportunities on offer.

The keynote speaker for the day was women’s rights activist Dr Helen Pankhurst CBE, who is also the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement.