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New Head for Cabinet Office Women’s Unit

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Susan Atkins was yesterday named as the new Director of the Women's Unit.

She will take up her post on 30 October, replacing Fiona Reynolds who is leaving to become Director General of the National Trust.

Susan is moving from the Home Office where for the last eighteen months she has been Head of the Probation Unit, leading and managing the creation of the new National Probation Service for England and Wales. Her civil service career has included a broad range of policy and personnel jobs, many of which involved modernisation and change management.

She has a longstanding interest and track record in equality issues. Prior to joining the civil service in 1989 Susan spent 12 years as a law academic specialising in Women and Law. In her first Home Office post she was responsible for co-ordinating policy on women across Government and was Deputy Chief Executive at the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1993 to 1995. As the Home Office's Departmental Equal Opportunities Officer from 1996-1999 she played a leading role in developing that department's race equality strategy.

Susan began her working career in local government where she qualified as a solicitor. She is married with two children.

Speaking about her new appointment, Susan Atkins said, "Over the last 20 years, society has seen a real increase in opportunities for women and girls to fulfil their potential and the lives of many women have changed significantly. But for others there has been little or no change. The Women's Unit is there to ensure that matters of concern to women are at the heart of Government. I look forward to working with colleagues across the public service to deliver improvements which will benefit women and society as a whole."

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