The UK has one of the worst records on gender equality, with men outperforming women on pay, board-level representation, and the gap between male and female employment.
Nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act, women still earn less than men in Britain today Women earn 13.7% less than men and typically receive less than half of the bonuses men receive (Fawcett Society). Women with degrees face a pay gap too – aggregate figures (where full-time and part-time stats are combined) reveal a 23% pay gap.
But the future’s looking up. More women are working than ever before, the UK has progressive maternity and flexible working legislation, and the percentage of women running their own companies, in senior leadership roles, and in Parliament continues to grow.
Here at the Students’ Union, the track record isn’t great. Since 1952, there have been just 8 women presidents. Over the past decade, just 27% of all Exec Officers have been women, and for the first time ever we have a female Activities Officer this year. Due to the Women in Leadership programme last year, we have seen women elected into an Officer role where there were none over the past 2 years.
So, what’s going on?
We believe that women will not achieve equal representation until there’s a sea of change educating them to be leaders, and developing their self-confidence so they know that they are strong, capable and inspirational.
We are not happy to sit back and wait for gender equality to happen, we've already seen a huge change in the last twelve months, that's why we're running Women in Leadership again this year.
This programme is for any student who identifies as a woman, and is here to encourage you to develop your skills and confidence and consider standing in the 2020 Exec Officer Elections. It is made up of a series of 6 workshops and one follow-up session in the spring:
These sessions have been designed to give you the skills to confidently run in the SU Elections, navigate the Officer role successfully (on Election) and career plan effectively with the help of mentors. You will have the opportunity to talk to women in various leadership positions. Applicants will be asked to do pre-work and reflection on each session.
If you are interested in being part of the Women in Leadership programme, we want to hear from you. Perhaps you’re someone who has been involved in the SU before, but still feels like you want to develop your skills that bit further. Fill in your details on this form and we’ll be in touch. Applications close 12pm midday 1 November.