I grew up on a council estate in Netherton in the 1980s, when the options for a young working class girl were slim. I had limited access to formal education and left school with no qualifications, but driven to defeat the barriers I was up against. I started work at 16, taking on jobs at a local market and then in cleaning and clerical work.
I was fortunate to be taken on for NVQ training, and stayed on to train others as an assessor and recruiter. I discovered I loved working with people and realised a talent for supporting and developing others.
I went on to work in Liverpool with young people who had been failed by our education system. Their stories taught me just how critical access to skills and training is to helping young people unlock their potential.
My experiences and the barriers I faced as a young woman have made me passionate about creating equal opportunities for young people across Merseyside.
Today, I play a key role at a global manufacturer, leading on our commercial and operational work. 15 years in a male-dominated industry has taught me I have to work twice as hard to achieve the same recognition as male colleagues.
As Mayor, I will prioritise grants for employers offering equal apprenticeships for young women and men and ring-fence funds for training women in sectors in which they’re underrepresented to give all our young people a fighting chance of success.
I’ve always thought that politics started with someone else. I’d never dreamed of being a politician until I asked myself: if not me, who?
The Women’s Equality Party is committed to doing politics differently, and to enabling people like me to be the change they want to see.
That is why I am standing as the Women’s Equality Party candidate for Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. WE has my interests, and the interests of all women in Merseyside, at the centre of everything it does.
I’m standing for Mayor to get Merseyside talking about gender equality. This starts with the practical change we need to see to build a politics that speaks to everyone.
We are all equal at the ballot box. Let’s make every vote count on 4 May.