We asked Chair Candy Piercy what the Campaign for Gender Balance could do to support aspiring female candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds. In an invaluable articile she outlines the support avaialble and calls for you to reach out for support if you are interested in being candidate and a BAME female, and if you aren't to encourage those who are to take the 1st step:
It is no accident that more than half of our current group of MPs are women. Brilliant women like Munira Wilson, Christine Jardine and Layla Moran. And there was a majority of women in our group in the European Parliament too. After all, our members want to have strong women candidates to represent them.
Now we need lots more brilliant women candidates from different under represented communities, and racially diverse backgrounds, to come forward to stand for Parliament or for local council - from brand new members to established activists.
The good news is that we have a comprehensive package of training and support to help more women get elected to Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. However many new members - and some longer term ones too, don't know about the Campaign for Gender Balance (CGB).
The Campaign for Gender Balance (CGB) was set up, when Charles Kennedy was Leader, to train, coach and mentor women candidates at every level.
The results show that the CGB approach works. All our women MPs benefitted from CGB help at some point in their political journey. 50% of candidates selected to fight previously held Westminster seats in 2015 were women. That was the last time that we had a full round of open selections.
We work closely with our sister organisation the Racial Diversity Campaign (RDC). They work in the same way that we do, providing coaching, mentoring and support. They work with both men and women, from racially diverse backgrounds
So what can you do to help? Think about the women in the Lib Dems who could be the next Munira Wilson. Tell us who they are and we will invite them to our training sessions.
What if you want to stand for Westminster? We have a range of help we can give you. We run regular Inspiration Days across the country. In January we will be running our annual Future Women MPs Weekend. We run lots of candidate training at both Spring and Autumn Federal Conference to help you on your way to becoming an MP.
Our next flagship event will be our Future Women MPs weekend -a digital event this time, to be held in January or February 2021.
The real strength of CGB lies with our fantastic volunteer trainers and mentors. If you would like to help women from under represented communities to get elected just let us know and we will be happy to welcome you into the CGB family.