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Searching for women leaders — the next step

    Laura Marks:
    Laura Marks: "We need volunteers"

    Volunteers are being sought to enact the recommendations of last year’s Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership and ensure that more women reach senior roles in Anglo-Jewry.

    After the success of the Jewish Leadership Council venture to identify obstacles to women’s involvement in communal life, project co-chair and Board of Deputies senior vice-president Laura Marks said the hope was now to implement what had been suggested as soon as possible.

    Two steering groups are being set up within the Board of Deputies — although financial support will still come from the JLC. One of the groups will work with organisations to help them become environments in which women can thrive, while the other will aim to encourage women to take on both professional and lay roles.

    “Because they are quite different areas and because of the scale of what we’re trying to achieve, we decided to split them into two categories,” said Ms Marks. “We need people of all ages from a broad spectrum of regional, religious and professional backgrounds who are change-makers — men or women.”

    When the commission was launched it emerged that fewer than a quarter of the trustees of leading Jewish organisations in the UK were women.

    Last July the commission revealed its recommendations, including a “kitemark” for Jewish organisations that actively seek out women for high-level roles.

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