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Newark College programme to pair female industry students and business leaders for empowering scheme supported by Newark and Sherwood District Council

An empowering mentorship programme is set to pair female business leaders and students together to help overcome barriers into industry.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is supporting the empowerment of female students on industry-based courses through a coaching and mentorship programme organised by Newark College.

The pilot scheme focuses on positive action under the Equality Act 2010 to help young women overcome certain barriers and improve representation in the workforce.

Rowan Cozens, deputy leader at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “I am absolutely thrilled to see this brilliant pilot programme starting at Newark College and even more thrilled that Newark and Sherwood District Council are supporting it.

“Women still face huge barriers and challenges regarding career progression, equal pay, and even just getting our foot in the door. According to the International Labour Organisation, as of 2021, only 16% of women who have jobs are working in the industry; shockingly, this has decreased. Industry — electrical, automotive, plumbing, construction, multi-skills, etc — is typically a male-dominated sector, and therefore, I firmly believe it is our role as experienced female leaders to help the younger generation navigate these challenges and empower them to continue the progression towards gender equality — we have come a long way; however, we have so much further to go until we well and truly smash that glass ceiling.

“I hope this pilot programme provides female students with a support network they can learn from and call upon as they begin their — what I am sure will be fantastic — careers.”

Female business leaders in Newark and Sherwood taking part in the programme.
Female business leaders in Newark and Sherwood taking part in the programme.

Female students participating in the scheme will have a one-day course on confidence, communication and resilience, and business leaders who have signed up to become mentors will participate in a two-day leadership and management course.

They will then all come together for a meet and greet after the training courses, and students will be partnered with a business leader they feel they could benefit working with.

Lauren Anthony, senior surveyor at Newark and Sherwood District Council, jumped at the chance to help mentor a female student.

She said: “I am very excited to be a part of this fantastic pilot scheme being run by Newark College. When Penny [Taylor, head of Newark Campuses at Newark College] sent me an email inviting me to take part, I immediately knew I had to be a part of this. I am all for women supporting women, and I hope I can help guide my mentee as she embarks on this exciting journey of starting her career.

“I’m also hoping to learn something through the leadership and management course, and I’m sure these young women have a thing or two to teach us too.”

Rowan Cozens added: “I want to thank Lauren at the district council for agreeing to be a mentor, and I can’t wait to hear all about it. I am determined to roll out as many schemes as possible to support women and girls throughout the district; this is something extremely close to my heart.”

Penny Taylor, head of Newark Campuses, said: “As a college we are delighted to be able to offer this programme though funds from the SPF programme and this is the eighth course we have delivered free to local business leaders across Newark and Sherwood. Our aim is to produce a highly skilled and productive workforce and we want to provide all our students with as many opportunities as possible. We are excited to see our students flourish through the guidance of local business leaders.”

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