The Conference

In 2019, the Senior Women in Policing conference will be held in Birmingham between Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th March and will be hosted by Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands Police forces. The timing of the conference is significant as it provides the opportunity to celebrate together International Women’s Day on the final day of the conference – Friday 8th March.

Hosted in two stunning city centre venues, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and The Library of Birmingham, we are offering an impressive main stage line-up compered by our host, TV presenter Steph McGovern, and supported by a diverse range of workshops. We also have a great array of keynote speakers culminating with our closing keynote speaker on Friday 8th March – mental health campaigner and author Ruby Wax. In addition, our fringe events will provide delegates with a unique opportunity to get a real taste for the culture of our region and communities, whilst creating the right environment for those vital conversations with like-minded leaders.

We are taking a different approach to the look and feel of the conference in 2019, where we will be looking at:

Change – Culture –
Collaboration – Conversation

The SWiP19 conference committee’s purpose is to be a catalyst for change, to create a lasting legacy which goes way beyond the conference itself. Our goal is that delegates return back to their forces inspired and encouraged to share their learning, putting plans into action, supported by their colleagues from across the UK.

Our Speakers

  • Laura Bates – Everyday Sexism
  • Helen Bevan – NHS Horizons, NHS Transformation & Change
  • HMI Zoe Billingham
  • Ruth Bourne – t-three, The Value of Networking
  • Dr Eva Carneiro – Doctor & Sports Medic
  • Chief Constable Dee Collins
  • Emma Cooper – Accenture
  • Dr Andrea Davies – University of Leicester School of Business
  • Cressida Dick CBE QPM
  • Mike Goodwin
  • Ayesha Hazarika MBE – Political Commentator, Writer & Comedian
  • Karyn McCluskey – Community Justice Scotland
  • Steph McGovern – TV Presenter & SWiP19 Host
  • Dr Louise Newson BSc (Hons) MBChB(Hons) MRCP FRGP – Newson Health
  • Grace Ononiwu OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor – West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service
  • Jess Phillips – Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley
  • Gill Pyrah – Media & Presentation Training
  • Professor Eddie Obeng PhD, MBA – School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Henley Business School
  • Lynne Owens CBE QPM MA – National Crime Agency
  • Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney
  • Chief Constable Andy Rhodes QPM – Lancashire Constabulary
  • Chief Constable Sara Thornton
  • Professor Alex Vitale – Policing and Social Justice Project, Brooklyn College
  • Ruby Wax OBE – Leadership, Mindfulness and Mental Health
  • Belinda Waldock – Being Agile in Business
  • Darrell Woodman – The Art of Being Brilliant

The Schedule

  • Wednesday 6th March 2019

    • 11:00 - 12:00

      Conference Registration

    • 12:00 - 12:50


    • 12:50 - 13:05

      Host Introduction: Steph McGovern – TV Presenter

    • 13:05 - 13:20

      Conference Opening Welcome: Commissioner Cressida Dick CBE QPM

    • 13:20 - 14:00

      Headline Sponsor Welcome: Emma Cooper, Accenture

    • 14:00 - 14:45

      Keynote One: Professor Alex Vitale – Policing and Social Justice Project, Brooklyn College

    • 14:45 - 15:15

      Keynote Two: Ruth Bourne – t-three, The Value of Networking

    • 15:15 - 15:45

      Coffee Break

    • 15:45 - 16:45

      Keynote Three: Laura Bates – Everyday Sexism

    • 16:45 - 17:00

      Conference Close: Steph McGovern

    • 19:00 onwards

      A Flavour of the Region – click here to find out more

  • Thursday 7th March 2019

    • 09:00 - 09:20

      Introduction to Day Two: Steph McGovern

    • 09:20 - 09:30

      Opening Welcome: Lynne Owens CBE QPM MA

    • 09:30 - 10:15

      Keynote One: Helen Bevan – NHS Horizons, NHS Transformation & Change

    • 10:15 - 11:15

      Workshop Sessions – click here to find out more

    • 11:15 - 11:45

      Coffee Break

    • 11:45 - 12:45

      Workshop Sessions – click here to find out more

    • 12:45 - 13:45


    • 13:45 - 14:45

      Keynote Two: Professor Eddie Obeng PhD, MBA – School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Henley Business School

    • 14:45 - 15:30

      Keynote Three: Dr Eva Carneiro – Doctor & Sports Medic

    • 15:30 - 16:00

      Coffee Break

    • 16:00 - 17:00

      Keynote Four: Ayesha Hazarika MBE – Political Commentator, Writer & Comedian

    • 17:00 - 17:10

      Conference Close: Steph McGovern

    • 19:30 - 23:00

      Festival Evening – Library of Birmingham

      It’s time to kick back and relax with an evening of entertainment and exploration. We’ve reserved you a drink at the bar and you might even spot a pink flamingo or two…

      We have lots on offer throughout the beautiful library building, from the excitement of Innovate to the calming of Relax, complete with its free spa treatments and well being advice.

      We’re here to Refresh you with fabulous food from all four corners of the globe, while some of the best career coaches in the business will help you Aspire to achieve.

      If that weren’t enough, there’s music and dancing at the end of the evening and a free champagne draw.

      Tonight is an opportunity to do a digital detox, so leave your hashtags at home.

  • Friday 8th March 2019 – International Women’s Day

    • 09:00 - 09:05

      Introduction to Day Three: Steph McGovern

    • 09:05 - 09:30

      Keynote One: Accenture

    • 09:30 - 09:50

      Keynote Two: Karyn McCluskey

    • 09:50 - 10:15

      Keynote Three: HMI Zoe Billingham – The value of collaboration

    • 10:15 - 10:45

      Keynote Four: Jess Phillips – Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley

    • 10:45 - 11:15

      Coffee Break

    • 11:15 - 12:00

      In Conversation With…
      CC Dee Collins
      Grace Ononiwu OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor – West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service
      CC Olivia Pinkney
      CC Sara Thornton
      – facilitated by Steph McGovern

    • 12:00 - 13:20

      Closing Keynote: Ruby Wax OBE – Leadership, Mindfulness and Mental Health

    • 13:20 - 13:30

      Host Closing Remarks: Steph McGovern

    • 13:30 - 14:15

      Takeaway Lunch

    • 14:15 - 15:30

      The Art of Being Brilliant: Darrell Woodman

      Optional additional seminar as part of International Women’s Day

A Flavour of the Region - Wednesday 6th March

A Flavour of the Region provides a choice of evening entertainment on Wednesday 6th March, where we highlight the cultures of our fabulous midlands region and give you the chance to maybe try something different.

Places are secured on a first come, first served basis. For security reasons, full venue details will be supplied to delegates once registration is complete:

Peaky Blinders at The Lock Up

7.00pm – 9.30pm      15 minute walk from conference venue

Stylish and dark, BBC series ‘Peaky Blinders’ recounts the exploits of the charismatic Thomas Shelby and his violent back-street Birmingham criminal gang in the aftermath of the First World War.

Whilst in the programme, they are stories, the real lives were as bloody and compelling as the mythologised epic. Hosted at Birmingham’s historic Steelhouse Lane Lock Up, Professor Carl Chinn talks you through the fascinating story of the Real Peaky Blinders, with a tour around the historic jail which has housed many infamous criminals.

Note: Accessible via steps – sensible clothing and footwear required. Sorry, may not be suitable for those with mobility issues – please give us a call to chat through.

Refreshments Included: Informally served Steak & Ale Pie, Mash Potato, Gravy and Onions. No alcohol served onsite, mocktail included within package and further drinks available to purchase on the evening.

This event is supported by West Midlands Police – – please feel free to take additional cash on the evening to purchase mementos from the Gift Shop


Cuisine and Culture… a taste of the Caribbean

7.00pm – 10.00pm     10 minute walk from conference venue

In the midst of Birmingham’s thriving restaurant scene, join us at our chosen restaurant for a delicious trip around the Caribbean through authentic cuisine and excellent conversation.

After a night of Caribbean dining, Birmingham style, we are pleased to be joined by the eminent Professor Robert Beckford – whose work includes documentaries for BBC and Channel 4 – for ‘What they didn’t teach you in Police Training’; an entertaining journey around the Caribbean culture, including reflecting on the theme of our conference, and considering the role of women.

We look forward to welcoming you – good food, good company and excellent post-dinner discourse.

Refreshments Included: Two course hot Caribbean buffet. A welcome drink is included, with further drinks available to purchase on the evening.


An evening Canal-side

7.00pm – 10.00pm     5 minute walk from conference venue

Located just a short walk from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, our next option offers a more laid-back dining choice for those of you who want to relax and unwind with great food and live music.

Enjoy your three course meal taking the time to catch up with colleagues old and new at this vibrant pub in the heart of the city.

Refreshments Included: Three course set menu – pre-order required upon confirmation of your place. A welcome drink is included, with further drinks available to purchase on the evening.


A night of nostalgia at the theatre – Hancock’s Half Hour

7.30pm – 10.00pm     11 minute walk from conference venue

Join us for a radio comedy classic live on the Birmingham stage.

In 1954, Tony Hancock burst onto the airwaves of the BBC Light Programme with a comedy show unlike anything the British public had heard before. Playing a less successful version of himself and surrounded by a cast of fellow comedy greats including Sid James, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams, Hancock’s Half Hour was one of the first programmes in the genre we know now as sitcom.

At one of Birmingham’s premier theatre venues; sit back, relax and enjoy a brilliant old-fashioned evening of culture.

Refreshments Included: Variety Snack Box on arrival at the venue, including welcome drink, crisps, yoghurt covered raisins, small bottle of wine plus a small gift.


Backstage at the Rep – Bringing Culture to the City

7.00pm – 10.00pm     Hosted at our conference venue

We invite you to take a unique peek backstage at one of the UK’s most famous theatres and the home of SWiP19. Are you fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes, the history of the theatre and the shows they create? See things from a different perspective, learn about the Rep’s intriguing past and get up close with the people who make the productions a reality.

This guided Backstage Tour takes you on a journey behind the scenes at one of Britain’s most renowned producing theatres. Explore the hidden secrets of a theatre with a fascinating past, and maybe even rub shoulders with an actor or two!

And you won’t go hungry – with a delicious meal at venue restaurant Marmalade following your tour.

Refreshments Included: Two course set menu. A welcome drink is included, with further drinks available to purchase on the evening.


A Recipe for Success with Anita Sharma

7.00pm – 10.00pm     8 minute walk from conference venue

On the edge of Birmingham’s bustling Broad Street, with its opulent décor and Indian fine dining experience, sits the venue where we are hosting our final ‘A Flavour of the Region’ fringe event.

Enjoy a delicious two-course meal, before we are joined by inspirational Indian chef, speaker, writer, health advocate and author Anita Sharma. She will be sharing the cultural history and culinary experiences of her Indian heritage, together with her top tips for healthy living – the perfect recipe for a creative and fun after-dinner conversation.

Refreshments Included: Two course meal. A welcome drink is included, with further drinks available to purchase on the evening.


A night off…

If you need a night off… a night to catch up with local friends, an urgent piece of work or an early night..

This is an un-catered option so you are free to please yourself (for once?!)

Workshop Details - Thursday 7th March

During the Senior Women in Policing Conference 2019, you will have the opportunity to attend two workshop sessions of your choice on Thursday 7th March.

Workshop times are as follows:

10:15 – 11:15

11:45 – 12:45

Places are secured on a first come, first served basis following your event registration and full details of our brilliant workshops are detailed below:


Workshop 1:

We asked for workers and they sent us humans – national to local well being

Chief Constable Andy Rhodes QPM

Andy will introduce some of the latest research, guidance and promising practice which sits behind the national well being service model due to go live in April 2019.

Well being is an intensely personal and often ‘messy’ issue and so organisations struggle to move away from sheep-dipping with a ‘one size fits all’ mindset.  Debunking some myths about how police work affects our physical and mental health he will capture the progress we have made in the last 5 years whilst challenging any sense of complacency. He will argue that our focus on demand has overshadowed something even more critical…our supply of humans.

This workshop is applicable whether you work within policing or face similar challenges within your own organisation.


Workshop 2:

So what are they looking for?

Mike Goodwin

Mike’s Workshop invites delegates to join with him in a light hearted but also challenging journey through the serious process of applying for and preparing for interviews and assessment centres.

Mike will invite delegates to put themselves in the shoes of assessors and will deconstruct some proven techniques for handling the most typical ‘Competency Based’, ‘Situational’ and ‘General’ interview questions so as to give confidence in giving one’s best under pressure.

Whilst addressing the often asked question ‘what are they looking for?’ Mike will also encourage delegates to be clear about their own unique offer and have confidence in ‘being oneself!’

As important for police staff as police officers, as well as senior leaders in other organisations where success at selection processes will help you smash that glass ceiling.


Workshop 3:

Combat and Collaboration Through the Media

Gill Pyrah – Media & Presentation Training

Broadcaster and media trainer Gill Pyrah’s presentation workshop will show you how best to present the person you are and the conversation you want to have. You will only succeed when you have a clear grasp of what you intend to get out of any opportunity – and prepare everything you must put in to achieve that goal.

You will be introduced to the rules of combat (or collaboration, when you get it right) and learn invaluable tricks and tips for taking control and persuading colleagues, external groups, even tricky journalists. During the session you will practise and test your new skills.


Workshop 4:

Changing the Conversation about menopause

Dr Louise Newson & Dr Andrea Davies

There has been lots of media coverage recently to raise awareness of the menopause with individuals, however how can employers change their conversation?

As organisations have older workforces, and increasingly a better gender balance, the impact of the menopause in organisations is significant. Apart from women suffering themselves, their partners often suffer in silence; this is therefore not a gender issue, but a wellbeing issue across the workforce that impacts on service delivery through attendance and productivity, as well as progression and the glass ceiling.

What can forward-thinking organisations do to deal with this and support their staff in a more strategic approach? How can we normalise the conversation about menopause including both men and women? The workshop will discuss initiatives used in a range of organisations, including public and private sector and will share world-first research undertaken here in the midlands region by Dr Louise Newson (Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon) and  Dr Davies of Leicester University (co-author of 2017 Government Equalities Office Report on Menopause Transition and the Workplace) with West Midlands Police.


Workshop 5:

Agile Leadership

Belinda Waldock – Being Agile

In this interactive session we will have a conversation about how being agile can help to improve the performance, well-being and growth of your team, empowering them to create safer, smarter, quicker and better ways of working.

Agile is a modern management approach that helps leadership teams to build a working environment that empowers teams to respond quickly to change and manage uncertainty during times of transformation. Agile leaders work to foster a culture of collaborative working, empowering their teams to be self-organising and promote continuous learning and improvement.

During the session attendees will identify, discuss and reflect upon how the attitudes and behaviours, an organisations culture, and the systems and methods it uses can limit its agility or enhance it, and how.

Attendees will gain an understanding of key principles and practices of an agile leader and their team, together with ways to improve growth, performance and well-being using agile methods.


Workshop 6:

Policing Workforce of the Future

Rachel Phillips – Global Public Safety Practice, Accenture

The demands on police services are growing and diversifying, the labour market is changing and the skills required are evolving. Given these changes, what will the future workforce in policing look like? How will we define “The Job” and how will policing attract and retain the people it needs, with the right skills and capabilities, when it needs them.

Rachel will facilitate a workshop to get us thinking start the conversation about our future workforce needs, and how we make it a reality.

The Team

Helena Bennett Head of Professional Standards for Warwickshire & West Mercia Police
Yvonne Bruton Chief Inspector at West Midlands Police / Chair of the SWIP Conference Committee
Sarah Chaloner Supt at HMICFRS
Amanda Davies DCI from Staffordshire Police at Regional Organised Crime Unit
Keiley Gartland Chief of Staff at West Midlands Police
Claire Long Volunteer on the regional committee
Jayne Milne Personal Assistant at West Midlands Police
Elaine Peberdy Head of Knowledge and Information Management at West Mercia Police
Tracy Tromans SWiP19 Co-Ordinator


The conference will take place at Birmingham Repertory Theatre / Library of Birmingham between Wednesday 6th and Friday 8th March 2019.

The ticket cost which includes admission to each day of the conference with lunch, and evening catering on both Wednesday and Thursday (excluding accommodation) is £355.00+VAT


By road:

When you are travelling to The REP from outside Birmingham, follow signs for the City Centre and then the International Convention Centre. If you are using an online route planner or satellite navigation, The REP’s postcode is B1 2EP.

Blue Badge Holders:

Parking for Blue Badge holders is available outside Brindley Drive car park (multi-storey at the back of The REP). Parking for Blue Badge holders is also available on Cambridge Street at the rear of the building, but spaces are extremely limited.


The REP is situated in central Birmingham and is easily accessible by bus from most areas. Buses that stop on Broad Street directly outside The REP are: (Broad Street) 1, 9, 10, 10H, 22, 23, 24, 29, 29A, 29S, 120, 126, 127, 128, 129, 139, 140, 141, 821 and 829. For further information about buses call the Network West Midlands Journey Planner hotline on 0871 200 22 33.


The REP is within walking distance of Birmingham’s New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street stations, which are all within one mile of The REP. Train times are available at the National Rail website or


Q Park Brindley Place – Q Park Brindley Place car park is conveniently located just a few minutes away and offers safe and secure parking. By booking your parking space online at you can save up to 40% on the daily parking tariff and guarantee your space. Event attendees can save an extra 10% by using the promo code REP when you book. Download the Q-Park Rewards app and scan your parking ticket when you arrive at Q-Park Brindley Place. The loyalty app gives you free access to a range of local restaurant offers which you can use on the day and every six scans gives you a free parking period!

NCP Car Park on Brindley Drive off Cambridge Street situated at the back of The REP.

The following car parks are also close by: Paradise Circus Multi-Storey, NIA, Town Hall Multi-Storey, Tennant Street and Holliday Street.


Birmingham Repertory Theatre / Library of Birmingham
Centenary Square,
Broad Street,
B1 2EP

Visit website > View on map >


There are numerous hotels within close walking distance of the venue, please see below for further information:


Copthorne Hotel
Paradise Circus
Paradise Place
B3 3HJ

6 minutes walk from conference venue

Unfortunately our preferential rate at this hotel has now expired.

Visit website


Hilton Garden Inn
1 Brunswick Square
B1 2HW

9 minutes walk from conference venue

Unfortunately our preferential rate at this hotel has now expired.

Visit website


70 Broad St
B1 2HT

9 minutes walk from conference venue

Unfortunately our preferential rate at this hotel has now expired.

Visit website


Radisson Blu
12 Holloway Circus
B1 1BT

13 minutes walk from conference venue

Unfortunately our preferential rate at this hotel has now expired.

Visit website


Throughout the conference, we will be fundraising for two brilliant causes – Dream Challenges: Women V Cancer and the UK Police Memorial. Further details to follow – in the meantime, find out more about these great charities below:

Dream Challenges: Women V Cancer

Women V Cancer brings together three very important women’s cancer charities: Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. These three charities are committed to supporting the thousands of people across the UK who are sadly affected by women’s cancers and researching into developing effective treatments and cures for ovarian, breast and cervical cancers.

The aim is to get thousands of women cycling crazy distances to raise funds for the charities – with our very own West Mercia DCC Amanda Blakeman and Sarah Jane Chaloner cycling from London to Paris in September 2019. Their aim is to raise over £5,000, so every penny of support will help them push on through and target therapies and support for those who go through treatment in the future.

Website: Click here


UK Police Memorial 

The new UK Police Memorial will honour the dedication, courage and sacrifice of many of the thousands of members of the United Kingdom’s police service who have given their lives to serve and protect their communities since the establishment of the world’s first recognised police service over 250 years ago.

The new UK Police Memorial is a project of The Police Arboretum Memorial Trust. The Police Arboretum Memorial Trust, a registered charity (Number 1159831), is beginning its mission by undertaking an ambitious campaign to raise at least £4 million to design, build and maintain a new UK Police Memorial.

The new UK Police Memorial will complement other memorials around the UK, notably: the National Police Memorial at the Mall; the Scottish Police Memorial at Tulliallan Police College; the Northern Ireland Police Memorial at PSNI Headquarters in Belfast:The Beat and the Police Memorial Garden, which are already located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and all memorials situated within Police Forces across the UK, along with all those which commemorate individuals who have fallen.

Website: Click here

Contact Us

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Out There Events team:

Tel: 0161 946 6262