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 2021, 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.

Mandu Reid
Leader of the Party

In April 2019, Mandu became the first person of colour to lead a national political party in British history when she took the helm at the Women’s Equality Party. Prior to that she spent 12 years working at City Hall for all three Mayors of London. In 2015 she founded The Cup Effect - a charitable social enterprise, advocacy, and campaigning organisation that tackles period poverty in the UK and globally.


Hannah Peaker
Chief of Staff

Hannah is responsible for operationalising the Party's strategy, managing the central office team and is the Leader's right-hand woman. 

Clementine Forster 
Chief Operating Officer and Party Treasurer

Clementine is responsible for the strategic operational and financial management of the party. Clementine has a second full time job (sadly unremunerated) called ‘being a mother’. Before she had two full time jobs, she enjoyed not realising how much free time and money she had. She is now determined to support the party in delivering political solutions to the inequalities still faced by women in the UK, including the lack of recognition of, or support for, unpaid care work.

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. 

Chris Paouros
Elected to Steering Committee 2016. Elected to Exec Committee 2017. Director since 2016.

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. 

Annie Rickard
Chair of the Steering Committee

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.

Erin Mansell
Appointed to the Steering Committee

Maureen Obi-Ezekpazu
Elected Steering Committee member

Janet Baker
Elected Steering Committee member

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.

Amelia Maling
Randomly selected Steering 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.

Emily Bell
Randomly selected Committee member

Hannah Godfrey
Randomly selected Steering Committee member

Sellisha Lockyer
Appointed Steering Committee member

Daniella Jenkins
Appointed Steering Committee member

Kay Wesley
Appointed Steering Committee member

Sarabajaya Kumar's Booking Agent and Speaking Fee - Speaker Booking Agency

Sarabajaya Kumar
Appointed Steering Committee member


Holly Rothwell
Randomly selected Steering Committee member





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