Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bringing More Women through into Business

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bringing More Women through into Business

Article excerpt

PWC has found that despite progress in other areas, female workers remain disadvantaged, with wage disparity in the UK standing at PS85 billion in lost wages.

Individual women are deprived an average of PS6,100 per year by gendered salaries, the group's research also confirmed.

Sunderland College principal and chief executive, Ellen Thinnesen, speaks of the role the education system has to play in bringing through the next generation of female talent.

"I think there has been a steady realisation that gender should not be a barrier to progression.

"Young females are empowered, more than ever before, to realise their potential and to follow their interests and that is such a positive thing.

"They shouldn't even have to consider the fact they are female when it comes to making decisions about what they want to do.

"If they have the passion and basic skills, they can be whatever they want to be, and society needs to not only say that, but also demonstrate it."

Sunderland College has a cohort of more than 6,284 female students. A growing emphasis on STEM subjects in schools means that more than ever, the college is seeing females taking up courses that they may not traditionally have chosen.

"It's really great to see people choosing to study courses that may have been associated with men in the past. While there are male-dominated industries, just as there are female-dominated industries, we are starting to see barriers break down.

"We have many more women taking up courses like engineering and joinery - and that's so great to see. They succeed too, and show other young women just what they are capable of."

One part of this picture is the culture that is set at the top of business, and Ellen believes that the college itself is an environment that encourages young women to see what they can achieve. …

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