Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts welcomes four women in arts leadership for panel debate.

In anticipation of International Women’s 
Day and to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act – which gave many women the vote in UK for the first time –   Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton, will host a panel debate on women in creative leadership.

Working with the University of Sussex, four influential female alumni will return to the university for the conversation, which takes place on Weds 28 Feb and will be chaired by ACCA’s Creative Director Laura McDermott.

Helen Pankhurst please credit Virginie Naudillon

McDermott will be in conversation with Dr Maria Balshaw (the first female director in Tate’s 120-year history), Catherine Mayer (author and co-founder of The Women’s Equality Party), Philippa Gregory (novelist, broadcaster and philanthropist) and Helen Pankhurst (author, activist, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst & granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, and ambassador for CARE International). The panel will share recollections on their contributions to the fields of art and politics and their thoughts on being role models for future female leaders.


Catherine Mayer said, “Our cultural output has the power to drive change or to uphold the status quo, and too often it does the latter. One of the seven core objectives of the Women’s Equality Party is ‘equal treatment by and in the media’ because we cannot have one without the other or reach equality without a media and wider cultural landscape that draws on the talents and perspectives of women in all our diversity. The #MeToo movement has helped to puncture the myth of media, arts and culture as a haven of progressive values in a regressive world, but these testimonies have also showed how much remains to be done to close the gender gap. I am participating in this debate because the best way to celebrate the suffrage centenary is to continue the work.”

Laura McDermott, Creative Director, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, added, “Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts are delighted to be hosting this event with our colleagues from the University of Sussex alumni team. The four speakers are leaders in their respective fields and will no doubt offer some fantastic insight into their careers to date and on female leadership in the creative, cultural and political sectors, for those in our campus community and beyond.”

Event organiser Mary Connolly, Development Manager in the alumni team at the University of Sussex, said, “We are honoured to welcome these outstanding women back to Sussex.  They represent the remarkable community of alumni who are making a difference to society, and are an inspiration to our students.”

ACCA’s panel debate on women in creative leadership., takes place on Weds 28 Feb 2018 at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts at 8pm.

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