Rewatch: Global Local Executive Panel – Increasing gender equity in local government


On April 5, 2024, the LGIU’s Global Local Executive Panel on Gender Equity was held as part of a series of panel discussions. The session aimed to bring together experts from around the world to discuss the issues and strategies related to achieving equal participation of women in local government. The panel explored the barriers that prevent women from taking on elected or senior leadership roles in local government. It also emphasized the importance of diversity in decision-making and good governance and discussed what leaders and incumbents can do to increase women’s representation in local government.


Hannah Stevens, Director of Elect Her, highlighted the need for political parties and organizations to create a level playing field for women to enter politics. She emphasized the importance of policies that encourage and support women’s participation in politics, such as child care support, flexible working arrangements, and equal pay.

Emer O’Gorman, CEO of Wicklow County Council, discussed the need for more women in leadership positions in local government and how the council is working to achieve this goal. She stressed the importance of mentoring, training, and networking opportunities for women in local government and highlighted the need for a cultural shift in attitudes towards women in leadership roles.

Dr Niki Vincent, Victorian Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner, discussed the importance of gender equity in local government and how it can lead to better decision-making and community outcomes. She highlighted the need for gender analysis in policies and programs and the importance of addressing unconscious bias and systemic barriers that prevent women from participating in local government.

Kara Cook, CEO of Basic Rights Qld and Working Women Qld and Advisory Member, Queensland Children’s Hospital Foundation, Australia, shared her experiences as a woman in leadership roles in local government. She talked about how she overcame barriers such as gender stereotypes and discrimination. Kara also emphasized the importance of having women in leadership roles to provide role models and mentorship for other women. She added that having diverse perspectives in decision-making processes is vital.

The panel discussion provided attendees with insights into gender equality initiatives being implemented across different regions of the world. The panellists shared their experiences and expertise on a range of topics, including the challenges faced in achieving gender equality, successful strategies for promoting inclusivity, and the importance of diversity in leadership. The diverse audience from around Australia and the UK who attended the session demonstrates the growing interest and commitment towards creating a more equitable society. Overall, the panel was a thought-provoking and informative discussion, highlighting the need for continued efforts and collaboration towards achieving gender equality.


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