This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (March 2015)
Irene Tordoff Fennell, daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles Frederick Fennell, was educated at Ribston Hall Grammar School for Girls in Gloucester and has had a long career specialising in training and development. Now described as a "portfolio" worker, she has held various positions including Commissioner for Public Appointments from 1999 to 2005, and President of the Pennell Initiative for Women's Health in Later Life.
In the 1970s, she was one of the first full-time women's training advisers and pioneered the training of staff in the then new Equal Opportunities Commission. Using a German Marshall Fellowship awarded in 1985, she drew lessons from the United States of America for the United Kingdom for programmes to improve the status of women. She has published extensively on these topics and contributes regularly on them to programmes on television and radio. She became Chairman of Nominet in 2010.
She holds a number of positions outside government. She holds an honorary Professorship in Creative Leadership at York University and is Pro-Chancellor at Southampton University, a Civil Service Commissioner and Vice-Chair of the Stroud and Swindon Building Society. Active in a number of charities, Fritchie has been awarded honorary degrees by a number of academic institutions.
Fritchie is Chair of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucestershire, and in 2012 was appointed as the new chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire.
In 1960 she married Don Jamie Fritchie with whom she had two children, the elder dying in 1991. She was widowed in 1992.
Fritchie became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1996 New Year Honours. On 31 May 2005 she was made a life peer as Baroness Fritchie, of Gloucester in the County of Gloucestershire, and she sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.
- "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 29 April 2011. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
Baroness Fritchie, Commissioner for Public Appointments, 1999–2005, 69
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