Former leader of Women's Equality Party appointed chief executive at the Young Women's Trust

Sophie Walker led the party from its foundation in 2015 until January this year, and will succeed Carole Easton at the trust in September

Sophie Walker
Sophie Walker

The Young Women’s Trust has appointed the former leader of the Women’s Equality Party as its next chief executive.

The charity, which supports young women on low or no pay, announced today that Sophie Walker would take up the role in September.

She will succeed Carole Easton, who stepped down last month after six years with the charity.

Walker, who led the Women’s Equality Party from when it was founded in 2015 until January this year, stood as its candidate in the 2016 London mayoral election.

At the 2017 general election, she stood in Shipley against the sitting Conservative MP Philip Davies, a men’s rights and anti-political correctness campaigner, but finished in fourth place, with Davies retaining his seat.

Before going into politics, Walker was a journalist for the Reuters news agency.

Since stepping down as leader of the WEP, she has been working on a book about activism and creating a project to support female activists from minority communities who what want to go into politics.

Jo-ann Robertson, chair of the Young Women’s Trust, said Walker would bring to the charity a unique perspective on the role of young women in society.

"At a time of huge political change and when women's issues have never been higher on the agenda, or indeed under more threat, Sophie is the right person to take us to our next chapter," she said.

"Through her vision and leadership I am certain that we will have an even bigger positive impact on young women's lives."

Walker said: "Women and girls, particularly from minority communities and the poorest backgrounds, have been hit hard by austerity and continue to pay the cost of policy-making that does not see them. But they are the solution to our current difficulties and divisions, not the problem.

"I am determined to lift up their voices, make space for their talents in workplaces across England and Wales and, by supporting them into work, help to build a society that embraces difference to the benefit of all." 

A spokeswoman for the charity said the salary for the role was advertised at between £72,000 and £82,000 a year.

Easton was paid £87,027 in the year to the end of March 2018, the charity’s latest accounts show.

The charity has undergone two name changes in the past decade.

Founded as the YWCA England & Wales in 1855, it became Platform 51 in 2010 before it adopted its current name in 2013.

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