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As part of International Women’s Day we celebrated stories within in the OPCC of women leading. Read some of them here.

Alethea Fuller, Deputy Chief Executive: Over the decades, the objective of Women’s Day celebration has evolved and embraced culture and ethnicity to emerge as a celebration of appreciation, respect and love towards women and this year I am proud to #EmbraceEquity

It is really special to have a day for women where we are being honoured, awarded, and appreciated. I will begin by mentioning my mother, who I am thankful to for giving me the drive to get to where I am today. Education was very important, and she pushed me every day. I completed my Masters in December 2017 and she would have been so proud. Becoming Deputy Chief Executive was another career defining moment that would have made her burst with pride.  We strive to make our parents proud and I feel I have achieved that.

We are lucky enough to work in an environment where there is opportunity to achieve, however we know that inequality and racism still persists. The important work that we are doing on disproportionality is evidence of that. Many in our society face multiple barriers to achieving their full potential, and obstacles to being as resilient as they can be. For some, the start they had in life has meant those barriers are immense, complex and very evident. That is why the work that we do is so important.

Inequalities for women are very real, although the OPCC has a good story to tell. The make-up of our office is such that there are females working at all levels across the office, in numbers greater than males.

I want this IWD to be an empowering one for all the women in the OPCC – we work hard, we strive to ensure that we do things to the best of our ability at all times. We will always embrace challenge – never be fearful of change or difficulty because that is when we do our best work.

Victims’ Commissioner Nicky Brennan: On International Women’s Day I want to nominate my nan Brigid as a true hero to me. She is the most special person in my life apart from my children. It’s because she has always believed in me when others haven’t. She has always allowed me to believe that I could make something of my life, when others said I couldn’t. She isn’t necessarily the normal cliché of a grandmother. She’s not one to bake cakes with you, but she is one of the kindest, most non-judgemental and bravest people I know and whenever I have needed her she has been there. She is a truly strong and inspirational lady and I love her so much.

Nicky Brennan and her nan Brigid

Andrew Morris, Communications Officer: In my time working at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner I have been inspired by a whole host of my colleagues, who consistently put others first and offer help and reassurance, guidance and leadership. Perhaps nobody has done this more than Georgie Bateman. From the day I started she has always been by my side to guide me through some tricky pieces of work. She is happy to lend a hand, give advice or even explain simple things like where the best place to go for lunch is. She worked so hard in her role as research officer, becoming a crucial part of the team and is now smashing it in policy. She is a true inspiration.

Brendan Warner-Southwell, Policy Manager: I thought I’d reflect on the significant role that women have played in supporting me professionally over the course of my career. I’ve found that throughout my time of having jobs I’ve had almost wholly female bosses and leaders who have supported and guided me to where I am today – be this Morwenna Foden and Ruby Smith from when I was back up in South Yorkshire to Meg and Alethea who have managed me here at the OPCC. These women have provided me with the direction of how to fundamentally do policy, engage with people in the world of work and more recently to lead as a manager. Their kindness and patience has provided me with the confidence take on the different challenges and fundamentally grow as a professional.

Georgie Bateman, Regional Policy Officer: This International Women’s Day I want to shout out all of the women working at West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office and West Midlands VRP. Our office relies on the hard work, dedication and fervor of amazing women to be what it is. We have women flying the flag in all areas of our office; they reassure the public over the phone and through casework, they lead on key policy areas such as stop and search, ASB and pet policy (to name just a few), they champion victims, they assist and research for our politicians, they enhance public trust and confidence through audits and they work to reduce violence everyday through the VRP. Our office is underpinned with inspirational women and I for one, think it makes us inherently stronger.

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