The Women’s Group have hosted a meeting with Gillian Merron, our CEO since July 2014. We are going through difficult times and very much appreciated that Gillian took the time to support us and speak to us about the forthcoming elections and the way the Single Transferable Vote works.
She wanted to encourage women to take an active role as Deputies and to make that role relevant so that other people would also be encouraged to become Deputies. She emphasised that being a Deputy is a two way process: representing a community/organisation and playing an active role within the Board and at the same time holding on to some tradition while raising the quality of the work of the Board.
Acknowledging the difficulty we all feel speaking in public Gillian shared anecdotes about her experiences in Parliament. Her advice was: “learn to manage a nervous experience. Keep it short, think you are the expert, go and be fabulous”. A recommendation suitable to all Deputies fulfilling their role.
Before explaining the Single Transferable Vote Gillian pointed out that a perfect voting system does not exist.
We had a lively discussion about the tactics of single transferable votes and what approach we might take to how we decide our votes.
Members of the Constitution Division attended the meeting – underlining that the Women Group is a diverse group – and were able to clarify a few constitutional questions.
The message we took from the meeting is: it is important to have a voice and therefore it is important to use all our votes.
The Women’s Group later gave a short presentation at the plenary reaffirming our commitment to supporting and encouraging women Deputies within a fully representative Board.