Stratford District Council no longer has an entirely male senior management team, following the appointment of its new head of community and operational services this week.
Julie Lewis started her new role on Monday, joining Stratford from Daventry District Council, where she held the role of deputy executive director in the business team.
Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: “I am delighted to welcome Julie to the SDC family. She joins us at a very unique and strange time, but will be a welcome and strong addition to the leadership team. There will be enough challenges for her to get her teeth in to.”
Julie added: “I am really excited to join such a forward thinking and dynamic council, albeit in very unusual and even more challenging than usual circumstances.”
The appointment has been welcomed by Cllr Kate Rolfe, who has previously spoken about the need for the authority to do more to encourage women to apply for senior management roles.
Cllr Kate Rolfe, said: “I’m delighted that there is no longer an all-male senior management team. In an ideal world there would still be a more equal gender balance, but all appointments are made on the basis of finding the best person for the job, I’m just glad that in this case the best person for the job was female.”
Last year an independent report concluded that it was unfair to brand Stratford District Council as a sexist organisation, but the authority has made changes to make it easier for staff to report any issues they may have.
That report followed an investigation into allegations of sexist behaviour at the authority, sparked by comments made by outgoing former executive director Isabel Edgar Briançon, which resulted in two councillors apologising for their conduct.