Call for inspiring women to step up in Blackpool

Andrea Sullivan of Merrill Lynch
Andrea Sullivan of Merrill Lynch
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Inspiring women in the Blackpool and Fylde coast area are being urged to sign up to help encourage girls in their careers.

Charity Education and Employers is calling on the women of Blackpool to give an hour a year of their time to offer career insights and advice to young girls at state schools.

So far the charity’s Inspiring Women campaign has 429 volunteers in the area but are hoping to hit 500.

Since 2012, 24,500 women have provided career support to more than 700,000 young girls across the UK.

The aim is to inspire young girls to pursue careers in lesser considered sectors such as financial services or science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Currently the diverse mix of volunteers come from 10,000 companies in a range of industries such as banking, IT and retail and at a variety of levels from apprentice to CEO.

Volunteers and schools are quickly and easily connected via the free online matchmaking service the charity has developed www.inspiringthefuture.org.

Research shows that young people in the North are significantly behind their Southern counterparts, with less than a third of disadvantaged pupils achieving GCSEs in core STEM subjects such as English and Maths.

Nick Chambers, chief executive of Education and Employers which runs the Inspiring Women initiative, said: “We have been very successful in getting 10,745 women to volunteer an hour a year to go into schools near where they live and talk to girls about their job and career route. However the majority are based in London and the South East.

“We want to level the playing field and ensure that girls in other parts of the country have access to fantastic female role models.”

Andrea Sullivan, international environment, social and governance executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “As key strategic partner and lead corporate supporter of the Inspiring the Future and Inspiring Women initiatives, we are proud to help extend the programmes’ reach across the UK.

“I cannot overestimate the value of planting a seed in a young girl’s mind and opening her eyes to the wide range of careers that are available to her… it can be life-changing.”

See also: Fylde coast women inspired in business