Olga FitzRoy, Labour’s General Election candidate in Croydon South, has been named as Music Week‘s Campaigner of the Year at their Women In Music Awards.
FitzRoy won the award for her work on the #SelfieLeave campaign, which looks to change the law to allow parents who work as freelancers to take shared parental leave.
As a result of the campaign, the government is now consulting on changing the regulations around shared parental leave.
FitzRoy works as a sound engineer. She has worked with Coldplay and the Foo Fighters, and she mixed the music for the 2012 London Olympics. Last year, FitzRoy was named in BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour Powerlist, for her campaigning and professional successes.
At yesterday’s Music Week ceremony, FitzRoy was presented with her award by Tom Watson, Labour’s shadow culture secretary.
Watson said, “It’s rare that you meet someone with as natural a flare for it as Olga.
“Within 20 minutes of our first conversation, she’d convinced me that denying shared parental leave and pay to freelancers was a travesty, and that a commitment to remedying that was essential to Labour’s 2017 manifesto.
“It was the quickest policy deal I’ve ever done.
“For most people changing a national political party’s election manifesto would have been enough. Not Olga.
“After the election she got my Labour colleague, Tracy Brabin MP, on board and together they launched the Selfie Leave Ten Minute Rule Bill and got the issue heard in Parliament.
“They caused such a stir that the Government has been spurred into action and launched a consultation on the issue.
“I am so proud that she has been selected as our candidate in Croydon South for this election.
“With people like her fighting the good fight inside the Labour Party and out of it, I know that everything’s going to be alright”
In her acceptance speech, FitzRoy quoted figures showing the under-representation of women in the music industry and urged the leaders to do more to support women
“If you’re in A&R, listen to twice as many female acts as you do male, until you have 50-50 men and women on your roster,” FitzRoy told her music industry audience at the ceremony at a West End hotel.
“If some of your female employees have left after having babies, write to them ask them for feedback. Were they supported to return to work? Were they’re flexible working requests granted?
“Are you actively encouraging men in your companies to take shared parental leave, or work flexibly, or is it always the women who need to make changes when they have children. Because if you aren’t supporting men to parent, you’re making it harder for women.”
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