Dr Barbara Gibson, founder of Women & Girls in Politics CIC, has been named as one of five awardees this year to become Fellows of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
The IABC Fellow designation is the highest honour bestowed on an IABC member by the association, according to Mark Schumann, 2020 Fellows Committee Chair. “Becoming a Fellow denotes a body of achievement by a communicator who has had a significant impact not only on their organisation and IABC, but also on the communication profession at large. With these five new Fellows, only 98 of the world’s top leaders have earned this superlative designation. It is considered by IABC to be a career achievement award for the industry.”
A relative newcomer to politics, Gibson is a highly experienced global business professional with more than 25 years in public relations, corporate communication, strategic planning, and leadership. She holds a PhD in Intercultural Communication, on the topic of "Intercultural Competencies Needed by Global CEOs” and served as IABC’s International Chair in 2008/9, as well as serving as President of IABC UK in 2003.
“Throughout my career, I’ve looked up to IABC Fellows as my role models and mentors,” said Gibson. “So I’m honoured to be joining their ranks now, and especially pleased that I know and admire the other members of the 2020 Class of Fellows.”
Other honourees include Adrian Cropley (Australia), Ritzi Villarico Ronquillo (Philippines), Dr Rajeev Kumar (India), and Dr Diane Gayeski (USA).
Schumann said “This year’s IABC Fellows represent the diverse contributions that communication professionals make around the world. We are thrilled to celebrate how these people inspire us to bring our best to our work every day."
The Fellows Award will be conferred on the five recipients during the 2020 IABC World Conference in Chicago, 14-17 June 2020.
Just five weeks after the UK’s departure from the European Union ended her tenure as Member of European Parliament, Barbara Gibson has launched a social enterprise aimed at inspiring more women and girls to become active in politics.
Women & Girls in Politics CIC officially launched last week, in time for International Women's Day. The non-partisan non-profit organisation will provide events across the country, school programmes, training and mentorship.
The new venture was inspired by a one-off event Gibson hosted in January that included 11 speakers and was attended by more than 100 women and girls. The event’s success, and the enthusiasm of participants to do more, prompted Gibson to keep it going.
“There’s clearly a need to get more women and girls interested and active in politics,” said Gibson. “At every level of UK government, men still far outnumber women. In the House of Commons, the last election achieved its best ever gender balance, and it is still only 34% women. That means that men are running our world, making the decisions that impact the lives of women and girls, and we don’t have an equal voice.”
“It’s not just a matter of women being held back, though there is certainly some of that. Girls are less likely to study politics in school or at university. Women are less likely to join a political party, or stand as a candidate at any level. So, we aim to start with inspiration, providing speakers from all parties and none, representing a variety of levels and roles, telling their own stories of what got them involved, what issues are important to them, and what they’re doing.”
With the community interest company registered and the website now active, Gibson is actively recruiting more volunteers, members and donors to help her roll out programmes across the UK.
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