Senior Diplomatic posts in Britain: For the first time in history, Britain’s most senior diplomatic posts are all appointed to women, following the appointment of the first female ambassador to France, Menna Rawlings.
As Menna Rawlings has been appointed as the ambassador to Paris on April 29, along with becoming the “first woman in this role”, she has also been the last piece of the puzzle to complete the historical event where all senior posts are filled by women.
Women Hold All Senior Diplomatic Posts In The UK
Rawlings has broken records by becoming the first woman ambassador after the last 43 male British ambassadors in the French capital. The role was previously held by Lord Llewellyn of Steep.
This marks a substantial change from just a few decades ago when women were prohibited from entering the diplomatic service.
The 53-year-old diplomat will be joining her fellow senior female colleagues in influential cities such as Caroline Wilson who is posted in Beijing, Dame Karen Pierce in Washington, Jill Gallard serving in Berlin, Deborah Bronnert in Moscow, Julia Longbottom who is located in Tokyo, and Jill Morris who is in Rome.
The UK Foreign Office claimed that in the past decade the number of female heads of purpose has tripled from 22 to more than 60. However, it has only been in the past five years that the most senior jobs have been assigned to women.
The two previous permanent secretaries, Sir Simon Fraser and Lord McDonald advocated the process of feminising the top of the department. The fact that most postings last on average four years gives regular opportunity to rectify the gender gap in such posts.
As the world strives to reduce the gender gap in the field of senior posts, UK’s Conservative party is yet to appoint a female foreign secretary. Margaret Beckett is the only female foreign secretary from the said party. When Buckett was offered the job in 2006, she herself was so surprised that she reportedly responded with the F-word.