The Solus Club to admit women for first time

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Don Thomson: president of the Solus Club
Don Thomson: president of the Solus Club

The Solus Club, the dining club for senior members of the media and advertising industry, is opening its doors to women for the first time in its 84-year history

The news was given to members at its annual general meeting at the Dorchester on Wednesday evening and followed a ballot carried out earlier this summer.

Of the 117 members eligible to vote, 109 did so. Ninety-eight voted in favour and 11 against. From January, senior women in marketing communications will be allowed to join.

The issue of allowing female members has long been an embarrassment to Solus Club leaders.

In September 2003, its then club president Mike Moran and president-elect tried to push through the reform but were thwarted by the "old guard". Shortly afterwards Hamish Pringle, then the IPA’s director general who had been due to become club president, resigned in protest.

Don Thomson, the current president of the club and a former chief operations officer of Global Radio, was determined to force through the changes as part of his presidency, arguing that the ban on women is increasingly difficult to defend while robbing the club of potential new members.

See Campaign next week for more details.


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