West of England Mayor meets with Bristol Women’s Commission

Photos by Tina Gue

West of England Mayor Dan Norris has pledged to work more closely with Bristol Women’s Commission to tackle women’s inequality across the region, following a productive meeting in Bristol.

The Mayor was a guest at Bristol Women’s Commission’s meeting of the full commission at City Hall, Bristol, on 11 January 2023.

The main focus of the meeting was the caring economy following our event at City of Bristol College last year – and how investing in caring infrastructure would not only tackle inequality, but would boost the economy and benefit the whole of society.

“A caring economy is a thriving economy that invests in people of all ages – it benefits all.” explained Commissioner Sue Cohen, “There’s a lot of money being invested in Bristol – housing etc – but we are not seeing the social infrastructure that’s needed within that. We need to adopt the concept of a caring economy here.”

Mayor Dan Norris listened carefully to input from members including Economy Task Group chairs Sue Cohen and Diane Bunyan, Bristol Women in Business Charter Director Sandra Gordon and Bristol Women’s Voice’s Chief Executive and Commissioner Katy Taylor.

He replied: “I can see there are some real challenges coming down the line that we need to plan for, and one of those is an ageing population. The challenge is so big that it needs to be met by everybody, not just women.

“Any professions where women are dominant, those professions are not appreciated. It’s about prejudice. That is what the real issue is. What you’re asking for is attitudinal change. It’s outrageous, and that has got to change.”

In terms of his ability as regional Mayor to deliver tangible change on the ground, Dan explained: “I can’t give you a lot of hope about changing in the short-term because a lot of money comes from central government. But there are quite a lot of opportunities coming up because of the way society has changed because of the pandemic.”

He pledged to work much more closely with the Commission in future to address inequality across the region. “I’m weak without your input and I want to be a lot stronger,” he added.

West of England Mayor Dan Norris also offered to return to City Hall to be on a panel for International Women’s Day celebrations with Bristol Women’s Commission and Bristol Women’s Voice on Saturday 11 March. Details to follow…

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