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Women in politics: We speak to women in Whitehall

Women in politics: We speak to women in Whitehall


Baroness Warsi, co-chair of the Conservatives

Baroness Warsi
Baroness Warsi
In the past Baroness Warsi has been heralded as a poster girl for a revitalized Conservative party: young, attractive, Asian and female. But Warsi dislikes the media’s propensity for labels. Cameron Cuties, in particular, riles her.

“I think it’s quite stupid and demeaning. Women who have got to positions of power have usually had to work twice as hard and to label them as inferior is quite insulting.”

Warsi is not an MP. Her campaign to get elected in Dewsbury in 2005 failed but, identified as a rising star in the Tory ranks, she was appointed as a peer by David Cameron in 2007, making her the youngest member of the House of Lords at the time.

Now, as a Government minister and co-chair of the Conservative party, Warsi is a busy woman. She has had to “surrender” her life to politics, she says.

Parliament’s recall after the August riots meant she had to cancel three family get-togethers. “I’ve sent out the invites, planned the food but now they will have to be canceled. That sort of thing happens all the time,” she sighs.

With one daughter and four step-children Warsi’s home life is also hectic. She manages to achieve some kind of balance between work and family by being super-efficient.

“You have to be ultra-organized and make sure you don’t leave things until the last minute.” And, she adds, if you’re a woman looking to forge a career in politics, it helps to have a supportive husband.


Women in Focus Editor
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