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South Wales DCC to give speech for International Womens’s Day

ON INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day, the University of South Wales is proud to announce its inaugural ‘Culture in Public Service’ conference and will welcome Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth to give a keynote speech.

For Maggie, Deputy Chief Executive at the College of Policing, International Women’s Day is an important marker to reflect on the impact women have had on our history.

“I’m a female senior leader in policing but I’m also a mum. I’m a grandma. I’m a sister. We are half the population and yet we know that our experiences, or the things that we’ve achieved, haven’t always been recognised. International Women’s Day is an important day to take stock,” she said.

“It’s also an important day to consider progress. We are making real strides and I’ve seen massive changes in the role of women in our society and in the public sector. However, this isn’t the case in other parts of the world.

“Therefore, we must consider from an international perspective. For example, in policing, we often think about how women in policing are perceived internationally as well as in our country.”

Maggie is no stranger to working in male-dominated fields during her 32-year career. Before policing she worked in probation, youth justice, and prisons, so she has witnessed vast changes in gender equality, particularly in the integration of flexible working patterns to accommodate caring responsibilities.

“The shift in flexibility has seen more women coming into the workplace in all sorts of frontline roles and in senior leadership roles. The other shift I’ve seen is changing opinions on what leadership means and a sense that we also value collaboration and compassionate leadership.

“Women bring so much positivity to policing which isn’t often highlighted. I have seen women across all ranks perform exactly the same roles as men and achieve the same. The stereotypes of jobs for men and jobs for women don’t apply anymore.”

As the National Police Lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, Maggie speaks with pride about her colleagues, on the front line, who are working hard to tackle crimes against women and girls. However, she recognises there is still a lot of work to be done. She said, “The recently published Angiolini report showed we have a long way to go. In the UK, one in three women die at the hands of a man.

“In policing, the College of Policing have published a new Code of Ethics which will take time to embed. However, we need to recognise that we are dealing with an epidemic and we need a culture change, not just within policing, but across society.”

Maggie will talk more on these themes at the ‘Culture in Public Service’ conference. She will discuss mobilising responses to crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls, addressing challenges faced by policing, and fostering cultural changes within policing to enhance community trust and confidence.

The ‘Culture in Public Service’ conference will be held at ICC Wales on 20 June 2024. The conference is aimed at Chief Officers of Police, Fire Service Chief Officers, Chief Executives and People Services, and Organisational Development leads across public service organisations.