Steering Committee - Women's Equality

Steering Committee

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the Party’s central decision-making body outside of Party conferences. It steers the direction of the Party by agreeing strategy, planning ahead and reacting to internal and external factors. It monitors the Party’s activities and outcomes against its mission, aims and objectives, and makes sure the Party’s activities are within the budget it sets and approves each year. It is also the body with the sole discretion to decide when and where WE stand candidates in elections.

The Steering Committee is made up of the Party Leader, The Party’s Life President and Life M.C, ten members elected by Party Conference, five members recommended by the Steering Committee and appointed at Party conference, and five members randomly selected.

Your Steering Committee members, as of September 2018, are: 


Sandi Toksvig
Co-founder and MC

Sandi is a writer, comedian and broadcaster who co-founded the Women's Equality Party in 2016. She is the current Chancellor of Portsmouth University and is involved with many charities focusing on civil liberty, women’s rights and education. Sandi was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British LGBT Awards in 2018. 

 Catherine Mayer | The Orwell Foundation

Catherine Mayer
Co-founder and President

Catherine is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist with a career spanning The Economist, the German news weekly FOCUS and TIME magazine. Her most recent book 'Attack of the Fifty Foot Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World!' includes the story of why in 2015 she co-founded the Women’s Equality Party. She served as elected president of the Foreign Press Association in London, is on the founding committee of WOW - The Women of the World Festival and was a judge for the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction. She is the Executive Director of the think tank, Datum Future.


Ali Smith
Secretary to the Steering Committee

Ali Smith is a Scot living in Hove and working in London, places she loves. She’s interested in almost everything and earns her living by proof-reading legal documents.

Ali loves politics and its idealism, but not how adversarial politics treats people and often skews that idealism, so WE’s advent as a feminist, non-partisan party is a continuing delight to her.

Ali is so pleased to have been re-elected to the SC – thank you! Being invisibly disabled with M.E., she can’t canvass, so volunteers for WE doing structural/organisational work. She wants to make a difference wherever she can. 

Amika George
Appointed Steering Committee member

In 2017, Amika started the #FreePeriods movement which calls on the government to provide free menstrual products to children from low-income families. While studying for her A-Levels, Amika campaigns to debunk the stigma around periods, work to reframe the way menstruation is viewed by society and raise awareness of period poverty wherever she can. 

Amika is working with the WEP because she believes it's time that women's voices are heard, regardless of age. We need to be more demanding in seeking equality, and need to be constantly questioning and challenging to make sure our needs are never just an afterthought.


Annie Rickard
Elected Steering Committee member

Annie has spent a long career in media and advertising ultimately running a global business. 

She is passionate about womens' rights and equality and believes in the importance of supporting and mentoring young women.  The Womens Equality Party is a natural home.

Barbara Guest
Elected Steering Committee member

Barbara was brought up on a Council estate in 1960s and 1970s Manchester and was only able to go to Polytechnic because it was free. It was there she was introduced to class and gender politics, which has influenced her life both professionally and personally ever since.

Her background is in social welfare law and adult social care, trying to improve access to social justice and to public services. She now offers consultancy support to a broad range of domestic abuse, mental health and other charities to support them to become sustainable and continue to offer critical services.

Bea Gare
Party Treasurer and Chair of the Steering Committee

Term ends Party Conference 2020

Bea is a former British diplomat who specialised in multilateral security policy and international negotiations. She holds a doctorate in Biological Sciences. She is still learning about everything.

Beverly Chandler
Randomly selected Steering Committee member

Term ends Party Conference 2020

Beverly Chandler Rostron is a member of the steering committee.  She is a mum of two fabulous daughters, owns a characterful rescue dog, teaches mat-based Pilates part time and swims in a lake in Oxfordshire when the sun is shining.

In her day job, she is a financial journalist with over 30 years of experience in writing about investment, and has seen a great deal of inequality in the treatment of women, both in her professional and private life. Beverly is keen to support the message that equality is good for everyone.


Chris Paouros
Elected Steering Committee member

Term ends Party Conference 2020

Chris is a highly strategic business and charity leader, specialising in the growth of small organisations on a global scale. Chris is a Trustee of Kick It Out, football’s Equality and Inclusion organisation; Just Like Us, an LGBT+ charity for young people; is on the Board of the Football Supporters’ Association and Non-Executive Director of Leaders Unlocked, a social enterprise giving young people a voice.

Chris is of the firm belief that the Women's Equality Party is the only answer to our broken political system and a feminist analysis and solution-focus is the way to fix it.



Francesca Pridding
Elected Steering Committee member

Francesca lives by the sea in Mid Wales and has twin daughters. She reads avidly, she writes badly and she plays hockey with a level of aggression usually reserved for rugby. She loves live music and the theatre.

WEP is her only political home; until WEP she felt as if she was just screaming into a political abyss – now she’s found her crowd…she’s much louder!

As a Town Clerk,  Francesca project-manages virtually everything for their town; from summer planting to Christmas lights, allotments to skate parks. She also makes sure the Councillors stay on the straight and narrow.

Helen Mooney
Randomly selected Steering Committee member

Term ends Party Conference 2020

Helen Mooney is a secondary science teacher, born and brought up in Liverpool.

She has shared caring responsibilities with her sister for a strong fiercely independent mum still living in Knowsley, one of the poorest boroughs nationally, coincidentally currently with no sixth form provision. She has first hand experience of her mother’s social care.

She is passionate about ensuring the world becomes a more equal place for her son and daughter.



Janet Baker
Elected Steering Committee member

Term ends Party Conference 2020

Janet is a founding member of WEP, elected to the steering committee in 2018, stood for local election 2018, active branch member, canvasser and campaigner.

Committed and active member of her residents association – local community is a big passion for her. She’s a self-employed painter and decorator and she also now runs a community centre in South London on Tooting Common.

Mum, dog owner and general busy woman.

Judith Curry
Randomly selected Steering Committee member

Term ends Party Conference 2020

Roles: Randomly selected Women’s Equality Steering Committee member since 2018; Elections Sub-Committee member

Kate Butler
Randomly selected Steering Committee member

Kate retrained as a yoga instructor in India three years ago. Prior to that she worked at a refugee charity in Reading and was responsible for Reading earning its 'City of Sanctuary' award.

She stood for a seat on West Berkshire Council and campaigned against austerity and library closures in her home town, Newbury.

As women's health is chronically under-researched and misunderstood, Kate is working with female physiotherapists. Together they will signpost women to professionals who specialise in women's health. Through teaching yoga and listening to women, she hopes to have a positive effect on women's lives and their health.

Leila Fazal
Elected Steering Committee member

Leila is a mixed-race London resident, a dedicated charity worker for over 20 years and an avid equality rights campaigner. Leila recognises the deprivation, racism and sexism she experienced in her childhood does not have to be the reality. Society can and should be equal. She dedicates her spare time to WEP canvassing and sitting on the Executive, Steering and BAME Caucus committees. She has also stood as a WEP councillor candidate and is currently standing as a GLA candidate.

Rebecca Lammers
Elected Steering Committee member

Term ends Party Conference 2020

Rebecca Lammers has an entrepreneurial spirit, running a business that specializes in music, entertainment and social media, all of which are sectors where women are underrepresented and underpaid. Rebecca has over a decade of experience working in predominantly male-dominated sectors with skills in account management, partner management and project management.

She is keen to close the gender pay gap and has mentored women in the music industry over the last few years.

She is proud to call the Women's Equality Party her political home.

Samantha Kelly
Randomly selected Steering Committee member

Samantha lives in North Northumberland, has a degree in Religious Studies, a graduate diploma in law and is starting a PhD in September. She is a mum of 3, and a carer to her disabled daughter. She teaches yoga and Pilates part time, specialising in the needs of those with injuries or long term health issues.

She is passionate about the needs of disabled and chronically ill children, especially the right to a full education based on academic rather than physical ability. She hopes to bring about a change in Northumberland where over 16s who are unable to attend school are not entitled to education other than at school support, meaning they are unable to reach their academic potential or gain a university place.










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Central office staff

Meet the Women's Equality Party's central office staff members

Executive Committee

Meet the Women's Equality Party's Executive Committee


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