International Women's Day: The councillor fighting climate change

Bridget Petty

Cllr Bridget Petty has shared what International Women's Day means to her. - Credit: Bridget Petty

Today (March 8) marks International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of women and to advance gender equality.

For 2022, the celebration has a theme of #BreakTheBias.

Your Mercury and Times have asked just some of the area's notable women what the day means to them.

Bridget Petty

Cllr Bridget Petty. - Credit: Stephen Sumner

Bridget Petty is the councillor for Backwell and heads up North Somerset Council's response to the Climate Emergency.

Here is what the day means to her:

"I am a working mother with two young daughters so International Women’s Day is important to me. We are fortunate in North Somerset to have a good number of women elected from all the different political groups.

"I am proud to be a woman politician because, historically, there have not been enough. I get to represent my community and be aware of the challenges of being a carer to children, to older parents and to the work-life balance.

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"This is true of so many households in our district.

"As a group of women councillors, some of us chose to form a small support group where we can encourage, share, empower and challenge each other.

Bridget Petty

Bridget Petty says she has had to break the bias in her worklife. - Credit: Bridget Petty

"Peer support is a fantastic way to work together for anyone feeling new to a place but especially for women.

"Elect Her, is a national movement to support more women standing for elected positions, I think it is a fantastic organisation."

"Over the years when going for new jobs I would try to negotiate hard on breaking the bias that has seen women underpaid when competing for the same role.

Bridget Petty

Cllr Bridget Petty protesting the Policing Bill earlier this year. - Credit: Bridget Petty

"This is not the case in council work as we are all paid the same councillor allowance, but I strongly believe that equality of pay is an important aspect to continue to work hard on.

"North Somerset Council is fortunate to have an excellent and dedicated woman CEO in Jo Walker who joined in 2019 and much of her senior management team are women so I feel privileged to work with such a skilled and professional team.

"I hope come 2023 we will have a number more women, and especially those from underrepresented groups, standing for local council seats across our district so we can be fully representative."