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Millicent Fawcett Main

Women in Industry: Inspiring the next generation

Published on: Tuesday 12th June 2018

Help and advice from career management group Inspira

A quick scan of Google using the search term ‘women in industry UK’ reveals a repetitive set of themes – gender pay gaps, need for female role models, greater awareness of STEM subjects and better representation of women.

The UK Writers Guide blasts the lack of diversity as only 14 per cent of prime time scripted TV in the UK is written by women. Even the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA) - a volunteer-run charity which has been recording public sculpture across the UK for three decades - found that of the 828 statues it had recorded, only 174 of them were female which is around one in five.

From construction, to mining, aquaculture, technology, digital and the energy sector – the themes are unfortunately the same.

So where are our female role models and how can we create more to inspire the current and next generation of women?

As a county, we are not doing too badly. A Cumbrian branch of Women in Nuclear was launched in March to help tackle the issue of only 22 per cent of the nuclear workforce being women.

A celebration of Cumbrian Farm Women was held at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, part of the wider Celebrating Women of Cumbria creative project involving 11 museums.

We also have several high-profile women such as Dr Donna Connor, head of education and skills at Sellafield Ltd, who founded the Sellafield Women’s Network in 2014 to support the progression of women in the nuclear industry and Isabelle Maddock, group finance director for James Cropper - one of only three stock market-listed businesses with an HQ in Cumbria. Then of course there is Beatrix Potter, Helen Skelton and Catherine Parr - the last of Henry VIII’s six wives, and an excellent example of Cumbria’s strong-willed, outspoken and fair-minded women.

But there is still room for improvement. 

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Inspira: The help you need

Inspira are the leading career management and personal development organisation in Cumbria and a great source of support when getting back into the workplace.

Whether you need advice or support, Inspira can help you to regain your confidence, discover new ways to promote yourself and understand the skills that you have gained while taking a break. You'd be surprised how many life skills can be transferable and a real asset to employers.

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