Basingstoke's MP Maria Miller welcomed Margaret  Aldred CBE as a speaker at the Inspiring Women series. The event was hosted by Basingstoke based company De la Rue, attendees included a range of professionals from Basingstoke businesses, public services and charities.

Margaret Aldred CBE was a career civil servant who spent twenty five years at the Ministry of Defence and who was director general and deputy head of the foreign and defence policy secretariat in the Cabinet Office. Margaret was secretary to the Iraq enquiry chaired by Sir John Chilcott. At the event Margaret talked about her professional and personal journey as one of the first female trainees to enter the Ministry of Defence in 1975. 

Maria Miller MP chaired a Q&A session with Margaret Aldred and a panel of three; Pauline Hedges the first Female Bank Manager for the TSB in London, Carolyn Dixie, Head of Policy & Governance, Procurement at De LaRue, and Sheila Mellor who after a career in advertising is working on a project for a Therapeutic Garden at Parklands Hospital in Basingstoke.  Questions covered a wide range of topics including the importance of, developing resilience when faced with adversity and both the challenges and opportunities faced by working women.

Maria commented; “ Margaret Aldred shared her experience of working in a highly pressured and male dominated environment under intense public scrutiny. I was struck by her dedication, stamina and resilience. It was interesting to listen to her advice on finding a support network at home and at work in order to “survive then thrive”. Coping strategies and a sense of humour are key.”

"Inspiring Women" is a speaker series, designed for women to speak about their careers, the challenges they have faced and how those challenges have been overcome. If you would like more details please email spaces are strictly limited.”