Remarkable Women Lecture: Dame Sue Owen CBD

Dame Sue Owen (LEH 1964-1972), one of our most distinguished alumnae, returned to LEH to speak to an audience of pupils, parents, alumnae and staff about her career in the Civil Service. 

Now the Permanent Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sue also talked of her career as an economist and academic which preceded her joining the Civil Service.

Sue inspired the audience by explaining how the Civil Service is changing, allowing women greater career opportunities, hiring people from broader backgrounds than in the past and appreciating the value that a more diverse work force can bring.

She told the audience how she retains the Civil Service values of impartiality when working with politicians of varying political allegiances.  She highlighted that whilst she has her own views, it’s her job to always present a balanced argument.  She hopes that the most sensible proposals always win out, although she acknowledged that due to the nature of ‘politics’ this is not always the case.

Sue wanted to bring to the students’ attention that a career in the Civil Service can sometimes be overlooked.  However, she pointed out the positives, as it can provide the opportunity for foreign travel, to shape policy across a range of important issues and to hold a position of significant influence.  

Sue’s passion for her job was clear to see. She obviously finds it extremely rewarding, and many questions to her followed from the floor.