Sally Wainwright to headline Mayor of West Yorkshire’s International Women’s Day event

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Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright will headline the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s International Women’s Day event, as she celebrates the 1.2 million women and girls of West Yorkshire.

Wainwright’s Happy Valley, which is based and filmed in West Yorkshire, has been hailed as a masterpiece. The hard-hitting drama follows the life of strong female-lead Sergeant Catherine Cawood, played by Sarah Lancashire.

Sally will take to the stage for an hour long talk with the Mayor, as she shares her journey into the creative arts and talks about how to overcome barriers in the industry.

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The writer, producer, and director is best known as the creator of popular shows such as Gentleman Jack, Last Tango in Halifax, and Scott and Bailey. Sally was also a

Sally WainwrightSally Wainwright
Sally Wainwright

scriptwriter on the long-running radio programme The Archers and wrote for Coronation Street when the Mayor played barmaid Trisha Armstrong on the soap.

The event is free to attend and will be held on Thursday 9th March at Leeds City Museum from 10am to 4:30pm.

The Mayor’s Women of West Yorkshire event, which is now in its second year, will provide an opportunity for inspirational women to get together and support one another whatever their journey, professional or personal.

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Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “I am so excited for this event and to be able to celebrate the formidable women and girls who call West Yorkshire home.

“I am honoured that we will have the extraordinary Sally Wainwright joining us. Like millions across the country, I was gripped by Happy Valley, which has seen West Yorkshire’s picturesque landscape become the star of the show, much like it’s no-nonsense female leads.

“And as the country’s first and only female metro mayor, it’s incredibly important that I bring women and girls together to break down barriers, share their successes and achievements. This event will do exactly that, and I encourage as many people as possible to come along.”

The Mayor will be joined by Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe, and a range of speakers including co-author of Cracking the Menopause and journalist Alice Smellie and personal trainer and wellness coach Lavina Mehta MBE.

Talks on the day will be centred around this year’s International Women’s Day theme Embrace Equity. Some of the topics include how the future can be made safer for women and girls, menopause and how women are still fighting for equal representation across many areas and what can be done to change this. 

Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “It’s incredible to have the creator of the iconic Sergeant Catherine Cawood join us to celebrate, encourage and inspire women and girls across West Yorkshire.

“The Mayor’s pledge to put the safety of women and girls at the centre of her policing plan continues to deliver and I look forward to going into more detail at the event.

“It’s a packed agenda and promises to be a fantastic day so make sure to register as soon as you can.”