Please note, this event will run fully in-person! More information, including location, will be shared once you register. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

While this event is a celebration of women in security, policing and defence, we are keen to have everyone join us. Supporting the progression of women needs all, and we would be delighted to have allies at the event

Join us for an afternoon of panel discussions and networking, bringing together members and stakeholders to showcase the work and impact women are having across the National Security, Policing and Defence sectors.  

This networking reception will be an opportunity to hear from senior female leaders, their achievements and will demonstrate how they are driving change from their leadership positions. The event will also provide a great opportunity to discuss how we can look to the future and break down barriers to accelerate women’s equality. Other topics will also touch on actions that Government and industry need to take towards the normative and societal good of equal representation in the sectors

We are delighted to announce the following speakers:

  • Heather Wilson Deputy National Coordinator for Prevent, Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters
  • Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth, Hampshire Constabulary, NPCC Violence Against Women and Girls Taskforce Lead
  • Parm Sandhu Associate at HMICFRS, Vice-President London Policing College, former Chief Superintendent, Metropolitan Police
  • Sally Walker, Former Director Cyber, GCHQ and National Cyber Force
  • Caroline Donaghy, Director Defence, ADS Group
  • Heather Tewkesbury, Chief Executive Officer, Smith Institute (Sponsor)


Please arrive for 12.45

13.00hrs – 14.00hrs | Lunch (will be provided)

14.15hrs – 14.50hrs | Welcome addresses

15.00hrs – 16.00hrs | Panel discussion + Q&A 

16.00hrs – 16.30hrs | Closing presentations 

16.30hrs – 17.30hrs | Networking & drinks 


In July 2018 Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) reported that the UK’s intelligence agencies were not gender balanced at senior levels and did not ‘fully reflect the ethnic make-up of modern Britain’, The most recent data released by the ISC in March 2015 showed 41% of MI5’s workforce were women, 35% of GCHQ's and 36% of the SIS's. Two years later, there was some, if small, growth: MI5 (42.2%), SIS (38.9%) and GCHQ, having the smallest increase, of 35.2% (in 1995 it was 28%). 

According to the Home Office, Workforce Open Data Table there were 43,762 female police officers in the 43 police forces on 31 March 2021, making up 32.4% of police officers in England and Wales, up slightly from 31.2% the last year. The number of female officers increased by 3,443 (8.5%) compared with a year earlier. Statista’s distribution of police ranks in England and Wales, highlights that the higher up in the police ranks, the share of females is lower, with around a quarter of police sergeants and inspectors being female. The highest rank of Chief Officer has a distribution of 68.7 percent male Chief Officers and 31.3 percent female Chief Officers. 

Female representation in the UK Regular Forces as at 1 April 2022 has increased by 0.3 percentage points compared with 1 April 2021 (11.0%).  Defence has set a Level of Ambition to achieve a 30% inflow of women to the Armed Forces by 2030. It is recognised that 30% is a very challenging level of ambition and one which has not yet been achieved by many of our NATO partners. In meeting this ambition, a Whole Force approach has been developed including tailored recruiting activities, women-focused marketing campaigns and making greater use of Servicewomen as recruiters. Defence, however, appreciates that recruitment alone is not enough and sees that a greater focus on retention, behaviour and inclusion continues to be vital. 

Georgie Morgan

Georgie Morgan

Head of Justice and Emergency Services, techUK

Raya Tsolova

Programme Manager, National Security, techUK

Fred Sugden

Fred Sugden

Associate Director, Defence and National Security, techUK

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