North Northamptonshire Council celebrates International Women’s Day

Your council

08 March 2024

International Women's Day logo

Staff and councillors at North Northamptonshire Council are celebrating International Women’s Day, which takes place today, 8 March.

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is Inspire Inclusion.

At last night’s Full Council, Jason Smithers, the Leader of the Council, took the time to speak about the importance of the day and recognise the 23 female councillors who sit on the Council, three of whom sit on the Executive, as well as the women who work at the council. As of March 2023, 68.5% of employees at North Northamptonshire Council were female. 

The Leader of the Council also remarked on the number of female staff sitting at the top table, with the council recently appointing its first female Chief Executive, Adele Wylie, who was sat alongside the Chair of the Council, Barbara Jenney, Interim Monitoring Officer, Sanjit Sull and Vice Chairman Cllr Lora Lawman was also in attendance.

It was also highlighted that North Northamptonshire Council recognise there is still more work to do. The council needs to encourage more women to consider standing for public office and work in local government, with greater female representation at all levels of local government.

The council has been working hard to reduce its gender pay gap with the median pay gap having reduced to 4% in March 2023, meaning for every £1 a male earns a female earns £0.96. The mean pay gap for the council is 4.3% (the closest, comparative data from the Office of National Statistics puts the national average at 14.3%).

Gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay. Equal pay looks at the difference in pay of men and women doing the same or similar job, or a job of equal value. 

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the council has been working with women across the organisation to talk about what the day means for them. The thoughts and views from staff will be highlighted on the council’s social media pages and staff will receive a special International Women’s Day Vlog from Adele Wylie along with some female senior colleagues and senior female councillors across the recognised political groups.

It was such an honour to be appointed as the council’s Chief Executive. To be the first female leading such a large unitary authority is a privilege.

International Women’s Day is all about empowering women and working together to ensure everyone feels included and respected, regardless of their gender. But today must be about celebrating women’s achievements and I am proud to see our female staff achieving great things on a daily basis here at North Northamptonshire Council.

Although a high proportion of our workforce is female at the council, I would always encourage more women to consider a career in local government - it is highly rewarding and you will make a real difference.
Adele Wylie, North Northamptonshire Council’s first female Chief Executive
Throughout history, women have been the backbone of societies, pioneering change, and driving progress. Despite this, the struggle for equal rights, opportunities, and representation persists. International Women’s Day provides the opportunity to mark the progress that is being made in breaking down the barriers that can hinder the full participation of women in all aspects of societal life.

I am proud that North Northamptonshire Council welcomed its first female chair of the Council last year. I am also proud that the Council appointed its first female Chief Executive too, earlier this year. And it is particularly noteworthy that they are both joined at the top table by Lora, our vice-chair, and Sanjit, our Monitoring Officer. I think this is something that we should all be very proud of.

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is Inspire Inclusion. I'm sure everyone and colleagues throughout North Northamptonshire Council will agree, that greater female representation at all levels of local government is both good and right.
Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council