A Woman’s Place in the Co-operative movement

A short time ago I was asked to participate in a series of interviews the aim of which was to examine women’s understanding of the role they play within the co-operative movement and any issues they perceive are still present for women today.
The paper, which can be dowloaded in full at the end of this article is based on those interviews, which were conducted in May 2011, with sixteen women involved in the co-operative movement, commissioned by Co-operatives UK as part of
the Co-operative Women’s 2020 Challenge.

The women interviewed occupied mainly senior positions, at member
or employee levels, within their organisations. Half were from consumer
co-operatives, with the others spread across worker co-operatives, housing
co-operatives and credit unions. All of the interviews were conducted on the basis of anonymity in line with market research conventions.

Whilst nobody felt that there was an easy answer to the question of how to increase female participation, ideas emerged from the research which, if taken on board, would go some way to addressing the issues as part of the Co-operative Women’s 2020 Challenge.

For further information about the Co-operative Womens 2020 Challenge go to the dedicated website at www.cooperativewomen.coop.

Click HERE to download the discussion document

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