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GREAT WORK: St Albans resident honoured for her services to equality and women’s empowerment

 Published on: 11th October 2020   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A St Albans resident who has played a prominent role in helping to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment has been honoured as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020.

Shirley Cooper was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 for services to equality, women’s empowerment, and the procurement profession.

The Honours List was released on Friday evening after it was deferred from its usual release in June, to honour those who had assisted in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2011, Shirley co-founded Tapestry Compliance, in Sheffield, with her twin sister Janet Cooper OBE. The firm employs 33 people, 75 per cent of whom are women.

Shirley told StAlbansNews how it felt to be honoured as part of the Honours List this year.

She said: “I was amazed to receive this award and truly humbled in recognition of the work I have done for women’s empowerment and equality but above all I am delighted that those organisations that I have strived to gain recognition and support for equally share this award equally with me.”

Throughout Shirley’s career she has demonstrated a passionate commitment to equality and women’s empowerment as well as driving the procurement profession to be more inclusive and socially aware.

In 2015 Shirley Cooper was appointed a trustee and treasurer of UN Women UK, the United Nations entity for gender equality and was elected vice chair of UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance (UKCSWA) in 2018 representing millions of women and girls globally and across the UK.    

Shirley has also been a member of International Women Forum (IWF) UK for 10 years and has just been re-elected for the second time to the Board enabling her to continue her work, this time as chair.  

In working in procurement and supply chain, Shirley has worked to promote best practice and the sharing of knowledge.

With this in mind, in 2008 she co-founded and is the President of Blueprint Club, an organisation created for women leaders in procurement.

Picture credit: Chris Christodoulou

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