9th March 2018

International Women's Week: Wendy Haxell

As we mark 100 years of women getting the vote, it’s worth reflecting on how far we’ve come; but that doesn’t excuse us from being honest about how far we’ve still got to go.  In celebration of International Women’s Day 2018 and as part of the ‘Women on Track’ initiatives, we’re featuring five women in athletics; those who are not in the spotlight but are behind the scenes making the wheels turn and who have a huge impact in our sport.

In line with our core values – Respect, Accountability, Communication, Quality, Integrity, the theme for International Women’s Day 2018, is #PressforProgress a ‘call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity’.

What is your current role?
Technical Official and UK Members Council (UKMC) member for 6 years

What woman inspires you and why?
It is difficult to say what woman inspires me.  I would say that a book from my childhood which I still have was a part of my inspiration.  The ‘Girls’ book of Heroines’ had four sections; history, war, modern times and sport.  As a person who always took an interest in all sports I admire many of those who strive to do what I never could.  People like Mary Peters who after her achievements gave back to her sport in her gentle, charming and understanding manner.

How are you going to #PressforProgress?
I have been pressing for progress and gender parity since 1965 when I was turned down at a college because they only wanted men on their secondary Maths course.  I was told this by the next college principal who told me she had no problem offering me a place.  When 10 years later I got the Head of department job as the only women being interviewed along with four men, I felt I was getting somewhere.  I have always felt that women are capable of many tasks in life but to achieve this they often have to be better.

I will continue to try and show that I am capable and encourage any women to develop their skills and to show them that anything is possible.   I have always felt that people should get jobs on merit and not to expect it as a right.