We have won economic debate on diversity says UK Trade Secretary Antonia Romeo

Poorvi Gupta
Sep 26, 2017 12:15 IST


Meet Antonia Romeo, the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade of UK. She believes economic argument is the biggest supporter of any diversity talk. At a time when UK has a female prime minister, the dialogue on gender fairness has been heightened in Britain.

Antonia Romeo, in a conversation with SheThePeople.TV, talked about how ample research corroborates the fact that women's presence in the boardroom and policy table brings in enhanced productivity.

"As we leave the EU, it is the responsibility of my department to strengthen our trade relation with new global trading partners like India"


Having said that, she admits “I think a lot of challenges of the leadership position are common to both genders." But could one take away the unwritten responsibility that women have of caregiving? She says "it's true that juggling family responsibilities as well as work can sometimes pose a challenge. However, I feel lucky because the UK civil service is one of the most diversity-friendly employers in the world. It also has the leadership commitment to doing more for gender equality."

On Gender equality and inclusivity, she said, "We now have a female Head of State, Head of Executive and Head of Judiciary and I think it's terrific,. Likewise in India, you had a female prime minister, foreign minister, defence minister before we did. So I feel is that we are well on our way to achieving gender equality. We just need to keep going until it’s not even worth talking about it.

The economist started working in the civil services 17 years ago for the Lord Chancellor’s department. Before becoming the permanent secretary, she also worked as Director-General for Economic and Commercial Affairs in the USA for UK Trade & Investment.


Her visit to India follows British PM Theresa May who led a trade mission last year. Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox also made a recent visit to enhance trade relations.

ALSO READ: Theresa May’s Brexit Speech Calls For Clean Break With EU



I think a lot of challenges of the leadership position are common to both genders

She also cleared some air around UK's new strategy for trade relations post Brexit. "Firstly although we are leaving European Union, we are not leaving Europe. We want a very deep and strong partnership with our European friends and allies. But also, as we do leave the EU, it is the responsibility of my department to look to strengthen our economic partnerships with new global trading partners like India."

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