SWAG hosts all-women Civil Service Fast Stream panel


Credit: Lauren Brooks

Lauren Brooks

The all-women panel shared their experiences in the civil service. 

As part of the University of Glasgow’s International Women’s Week, the student society Successful Women At Glasgow (SWAG) hosted a Civil Service Fast Stream Panel on Tuesday 11 March evening. The panel discussion took place on campus, where three female Glasgow University graduates spoke about their experiences within the Civil Service Fast Stream. 

The society has been hosting events throughout International Women’s Week, including a self-defence class and a talk on reproductive health. The society aims to create a platform to showcase successful women by hosting talks every two weeks with women speakers. 

They aim to inspire students of all genders while recognising women’s achievements in a variety of fields. Talks take place every second Tuesday, with a Q&A section at the end. The society also hosts fundraisers once a month such as clubs nights, pub quizzes and bake sales.

SWAG president Jessica Macmillan said: “Our main goal is to empower women, we like to have females who are successful in their fields to provide talks, to provide inspiration for students at the University, because it can be quite hard to think about what to do after university” 

Macmillan added, “It is nice to have female inspirational figures as it’s more common for us to see men doing well in their fields”.

The all-women panel discussed the leadership graduate programme, which has been named the best programme in The Times’ Top 100 Graduate Employers for 2019-20. They focused their discussion on the year-long application process and assessment centre.

They spoke of the success and purpose of the civil service also. The civil service website says that, “The Civil Service supports the government of the day to implement its policies effectively. The award-winning Fast Stream is the leadership programme that develops the highest potential graduates to become the future leaders of the Civil Service, offering the society.”

The three panelists were Rhona Philip, a Psychology graduate; Ros-Mari Mitova, a Politics graduate; and Hannah Deighan, an English and History graduate who spoke over Skype as she was unable to get time off to travel up to Glasgow. 

All three women spoke of their different experiences in the civil service, showcasing the variation available within the programme and what different departments you can take part in. The graduates discussed their day-to-day lives, such as Philp, who is currently working in the Department for Work and Pensions, and Mitova, who is an UX Researcher and Deigham, part of the generalist scheme. They focused on the application process as it is a very competitive scheme and also advised the audience how to prepare for the many different stages of the application. 

The Glasgow Guardian spoke to members of the audience about what they thought of the event. Thalia Groucottit, a student at the University, said that the all-women panel was refreshing and added, “it does make a difference hearing three women talk about their experiences of the civil service, compared with other panels”. 

SWAG has also spent the week fundraising for Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis, a charity that supports survivors of sexual assault. As part of their fundraising, they collected donations at their events and held a bake sale. 

To find out more information about the programme on the Civil Service Fast Stream website


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