This week the city will be renamed Womanchester as part of a diversity festival to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8th March which is encouraging organisations across Manchester to #PressForProgress.

The name change is part of a programme of events that will celebrate Manchester’s vibrant history of powerful women and is intended to inspire those living and working across the city to continue driving change towards gender parity.  Events will focus on themes such as leadership, representation and mentoring and all are welcome to attend.

The week will culminate in a celebration evening on Thursday 8th March at The Radisson Free Trade Hall; a site which marked the beginning of the militant campaign for Votes for Women.

This high-profile ceremony will play host to a panel of speakers including: Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, Lou Cordwell OBE, Director of AllBright and CEO of Magnetic North, Emer Coleman, Head of Tech Engagement at The Co-Op, and Alveena Malik, Co-Founder of One Million Mentors.

The week has been organised by The Business Sorority, a group for young women supporting each other with personal and professional progression.

Heather Gray, founder of The Business Sorority and Heather Gray Events, said: “IWD is all about collaboration and female empowerment and therefore it seemed fitting that we should team up with leading businesses and organisations across the city to deliver a comprehensive programme of events for the people of Manchester. We are thrilled at the momentum that we have gathered for this initiative and will be proud to even be renaming the city in honour of the occasion!

“We’d like to thank all of our partners for their generosity and support and we look forward to welcoming everyone to our week of events and making this a celebration worthy of our home city’s heritage.”

Womanchester’s partners include: Tech Manchester, Business Growth Hub, BIG Partnership, Institute of Directors NW, All Bright, NatWest, Forward Ladies, Forever Manchester, Pro Manchester, Intro NW, Tech North, Lloyds Banking, Accelerate Places, Radisson Edwardian and Revolucion De Cuba.

The festival’s charity partners are Forever Manchester and the WoManchester Statue Project.

At present 16 out of the 17 statues in the City Centre are of men, the project aims to change this by fundraising for a new statue of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst to celebrate the significant role that women have played in the city.


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