Dame Sharon White delivers the 2023 Alice Bacon Lecture

Dame Sharon White delivered the latest instalment of the annual Alice Bacon Lecture series, which celebrates the pioneering achievements of women.

On Thursday 2nd November, the Alice Bacon Lecture 2023 was delivered by Dame Sharon White, at the University of Leeds. The Chair of the John Lewis Partnership was the fifth person to have given the annual Alice Bacon Lecture since its inaugural lecture in 2018, following Harriet Harman MP, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, and Dame Professor Mary Beard. 

Dame Sharon White delivering the 2023 Alice Bacon Lecture.

Dame Sharon White delivering the 2023 Alice Bacon Lecture. Photograph by ©Victor De Jesus.

The lecture, which honours the city of Leeds' first woman MP, celebrates the achievements of pioneering women and is jointly organised by the Centre for Democratic Politics (CDP) and Rachel Reeves MP, who is also Alice Bacon's biographer.

Dame Sharon delivered a brilliant lecture called ‘The Female Leader – looking to the day that it’s unremarkable’, which was followed by a live audience Q & A session in the University’s Great Hall. 

Group photograph of (from left to right) Rachel Reeves MP, Dr Richard Hayton, Professor Paul Johnson, and Dame Sharon White.

Group photo of Rachel Reeves MP (seated left), CDP co-director Dr Richard Hayton (standing left), Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Paul Johnson (standing right), and Dame Sharon White (seated right). Photo ©Victor De Jesus.

Co-director of the Centre for Democratic Politics, Dr Richard Hayton, has said of Dame Sharon’s lecture,

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to welcome Dame Sharon White to Leeds to give the 2023 Alice Bacon lecture.


The audience was clearly moved by her deeply personal reflections on her childhood growing up in 1970s London, and the inspirational story of her career. 

Photograph from the Q &A session with the audience. Pictured: an audience member standing, asking a question into a microphone; Dr Richard Hayton and Dame Sharon seated on the stage.

Dr Richard Hayton (seated left) chairing the audience Q&A with Dame Sharon (seated right). Photograph by ©Victor De Jesus.