Higginson Strategy hires Jacqui Smith to head up new female practice
The former home secretary links up with John and Clodagh Higginson.
Higginson Strategy has appointed former home secretary Jacqui Smith as chair of a new practice focused on working with organisations and individuals to accelerate female empowerment.
The agency run by John and Clodagh Higginson was inspired to set up the dedicated practice, called Empower, by recent high-profile campaigns such the Gender Pay Gap, #MeToo and proxy voting for new mothers in parliament.
In a statement on the new post, Smith said: “Empower will support organisations and individuals championing women in all areas. Increased representation is important, but just the first step. We want to achieve real impact through celebrating the skills and perspective that women bring. We will work with people and organisations that share our commitment and vision to help them remove barriers, alter perceptions and accelerate change.”
A spokesperson for the agency said that Empower will meet quarterly to discuss ways of pushing forward women’s empowerment in a range of areas as well as having two annual external events and recording three podcasts a year focused on how true empowerment can be achieved. “It will work inside organisations to deliver real empowerment where the rules of the game are rewritten rather than simply striving to hit representation targets,” they added.
The practice will be launched in Parliament with an event on 4 March hosted by Labour MP and prominent women’s rights campaigner Jess Phillips. Empower’s founding members include WealthiHer, a campaign to make the finance industry more female focused, backed by HSBC, Barclays and J.P. Morgan and leading independent girls’ school Blackheath High School GDST.
Smith was Britain’s first female home secretary, serving from 2007 to 2009. She takes on the post four years after she was signed up by Westbourne Communications as the firm’s chair. Last year, Westbourne was acquired by Cicero Group. Higginson Strategy was founded by lobby former journalists John and Clodagh Higginson in 2017.