They say behind every great man, stands an even greater woman, but at an organisation like ROSL, it is women who stand front and centre, and always have done. Led by Director-General Diana Owen, with a largely female executive, ROSL in 2018 is the embodiment of our founder’s principles of equality and egality. 

But this doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to be done here and in society at large. As we mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act here in the UK, which gave some women the right to vote for the first time, the new edition of Overseas, out now, looks at the changing role of women historically and the battles still being fought today, such as the gender pay gap and sexual harassment.

Last year’s revelations surrounding the alleged serious misconduct of Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood moguls, gave rise to social media movements such as #MeToo and Time’sUp, which have seen thousands of women (and men) come forward with their stories of workplace and sexual harassment. While these movements have generated huge amounts of media coverage, Abi Millar looks at what has actually changed as a result of their widespread adoption. Several high-profile figures such as Weinstein have seen a precipitous fall from grace, but will things get any better for everyone else?

Beyond the Hollywood bubble, the rest of the world sees massive variations in gender equality, particularly in leadership roles. In 2015, the Commonwealth published its first Gender Leadership Gap report, which exposed the glaring inconsistencies around the globe. 2018’s second report shows concerning declines in some areas, but powerful progress in others, as Elly Earls reports.

Closer to home, ROSL’s long history of promoting equality has seen women played a central role in the success of the club since its founding in 1910, which today is reflected in our 50/50 gender split among members. HM The Queen as our patron, Diana Owen as D-G, we look back at the women who have come before them, from our first female Chairman to the woman who founded what later become known as the Annual Music Competition nearly 70 years ago.

Let’s hope the great women leading ROSL today and tomorrow will continue to make great strides for equality over the next 100 years. Read all these stories, plus news and events from the club below.


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