Women hold all Britain’s senior diplomatic posts for first time

Menna Rawlings becomes first female ambassador to France

Maya Oppenheim
Women’s Correspondent
@mayaoppenheim
Friday 30 April 2021 15:57
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<p>UK ambassadors to the United Nations, Tokyo, Washington, Beijing, Moscow, Canberra, Moscow, Paris and Berlin are now all women</p>

UK ambassadors to the United Nations, Tokyo, Washington, Beijing, Moscow, Canberra, Moscow, Paris and Berlin are now all women

All of Britain’#s most senior diplomatic posts are filled by women for the first time in history following the appointment of the first female ambassador to France.

Menna Rawlings, who announced as the ambassador to Paris on Thursday, has said she is “delighted” to be appointed and become “the first woman in this role”.

The last 43 British ambassadors in the French capital have been men.

UK ambassadors to the United Nations, Tokyo, Washington, Beijing, Moscow, Canberra, Moscow, Paris and Berlin are now all women.

It marks a substantial change from just a few decades ago when women were barred from entering the diplomatic service.

While rules changed in 1946, women were nevertheless forced to step down if they got married and were forbidden from working abroad if they gave birth while in the role overseas until 1973.

Ms Rawlings takes the role previously held by Lord Llewellyn of Steep who is moving into a different diplomatic service appointment. Lord Llewellyn previously worked as former PM David Cameron’s chief of staff.

The 53-year-old will be joining fellow senior female colleagues in influential cities such as Caroline Wilson who is posted in Beijing, Dame Karen Pierce in Washington, Jill Gallard serving in Berlin, Deborah Bronnert in Moscow, Julia Longbottom who is located in Tokyo, and Jill Morris who is in Rome.

Ms Rawlings joined the Foreign Office in the late 1980s and has been posted in positions around the world and worked as high commissioner to Australia.

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