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Women's Network

A network of people collaborating to build a community and develop relationships that recognise, celebrate, and collectively advocate for opportunities which enable women to fulfil their potential.

Join the Women's Network

The Women’s Network has been set up to provide a safe space for female staff members and those who identify as female to come together to talk, share ideas and develop. ​It has been created to amplify the voices of all women within the council.

The Women’s network provides a forum for female staff members, those who identify as females, and allies to share experiences, provide support and opportunities, promote equity, and help the organisation understand the female experience.

Many of our staff are female, but women still face shared issues around health, careers, and responsibilities. The network will provide a collective and influential voice on behalf of our female staff members, to support the organisation to change and improve the experience of staff in relation to gender equality.

We believe that networking female colleagues across the organisation, who are at different career stages and use different skills to support a myriad of communities, will help empower them, give them an opportunity to form a collective voice and help each other.


The Women’s Network aims to:

  • provide a safe, respectful, confidential, and supportive environment for employees from across the organisation to discuss issues, while promoting a working environment where all feel safe and confident to be themselves and perform to the best of their ability within the organisation.
  • increase the visibility of employees who identify as female, promoting equality across the organisation by supporting personal and career development
  • inform and influence our approach to women’s issues and contribute experience, expertise, and ideas to Improve the quality of services we offer our customers, especially those who identify as female
  • act as a consultation body on issues relating to the specific needs of female employees
  • provide opportunities for networking and organise awareness raising activities for employees relevant to the group, celebrating difference and diversity and challenging intolerance to the wider community
  • liaise with internal departments and external organisations on relevant issues
  • be actively involved and engaged in the development and implementation of our equality, diversity, and inclusion strategy
  • collaborate with other employee support networks to share information and good practice


Membership is open to all our employees supporting the aims of the network. We also welcome contact, attendance and comments from school staff, external organisations, partners and external networks, including those from members of the wider community of Derbyshire.

Our Team’s channel has a wealth of resources and there is always somebody to talk to, whether you just need 5 minutes to talk it out, or if you want to ask for wider support, even raising anonymous questions on behalf of our colleagues.

Confidentiality of membership will be respected.

Ways of working

The network is independent and self-managed.

The network will appoint network leads to ensure that it runs fairly and smoothly - particular roles include facilitator roles, for example chair and secretary.

Support roles within the group (like chairing meetings, taking notes, organising events) are fulfilled by those willing to volunteer their assistance, with due recognition recorded in personal development review (My Plan).

The network will have facilitator and co-facilitator who organise, arrange, and agree the hosting of meetings supported by the rest of the group. The facilitator post will run for a 12-month time period being agreed by consensus each April.


Three hours per quarter of paid time off is provided for employees to attend meetings, and additional time subject to the needs of the service. Time for meetings is recorded as ‘working time’ in SAP.

Additional times include:

  • specific meetings or forums where network leads and / or members attend to represent views of the network
  • planning time for network facilitators to organise meeting or to respond to the needs of the service
  • training and workshops essential to support network leads members development

Meetings can be held virtually, in person at suitable locations, or based on a hybrid approach, depending on the consensus of the network and in line with the council's health and safety guidance.

The network will nominate a representative to attend the equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) workforce workstream group and relevant sub-groups in order to support the priorities within the EDI strategy.


Meetings are open to all interested employees. Meetings are recorded and made available on our Teams channels for those who are unable to attend to playback at a convenient time.

For further information and future meeting dates, or if there is something you would like to organise, or a topic you think our network should be engaging in, please let us know by email