Fast Stream Women's Network (FSWN)
FSWN is a group of Fast Streamers with a shared ambition of empowering and raising opportunities for women (and those with complex gender identities) within the Civil Service Fast Stream. They do this through a programme of high-profile speaker events, skills sessions, lobbying, and running monthly social activities across the country to build community.
The Fast Stream is a leadership development programme; FSWN was established to provide a more tailored approach to developing women in leadership and addressing the unique set of challenges women on the Fast Stream face, to ensure that women have as much opportunity to reach their potential and make the most of their development opportunities. As a mobile programme which operates across multiple departments around the UK, Fast Streamers often lack a gender-specific support network due to the frequency of their moves between placements. Likewise, moving between departments often creates a lack of clarity and ambiguity between Cabinet Office and departmental policies and procedures. Additionally, postings are unequal in their opportunities for exposure to senior leadership and for day-to-day peer support.
FSWN established six core workstreams to address issues facing Fast Stream women:
Policy & Campaigns - launching gender-based campaigns and working with FSET on policy changes with a gendered impact;
Schools Outreach - delivering careers workshops to inspire young women to become future leaders;
Communications - building community engagement;
Skills & Knowledge - delivering SCS speaker sessions and creating skills development resources;
Membership & Engagement - hosting social events and providing networking opportunities to build communities; and
Intersectionality - ensuring that the entire committee takes an intersectional, inclusive and diverse approach, and holding them to account through strategy and success metrics.
The FSWN committee members take on roles voluntarily, outside of their usual jobs, meeting at least once a month and providing regular updates and requests for feedback on workstream’s projects.