International Women’s Day highlights gender pay gap

Women's rights campaigner Brenda Lowe (fifth from left) held a coffee morning to raise money for Wom

Women's rights campaigner Brenda Lowe (fifth from left) held a coffee morning to raise money for Women for Women International. Picture courtesy of Brenda Lowe. - Credit: Archant

As well as celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, this year’s International Women’s Day on Thursday saw a push for gender equality when it comes to pay.

Women’s rights campaigner Brenda Lowe, from Stevenage, said: “The World Economic Forum says it could take another 217 years before women gain equality with men over employment and salaries, and who knows what the world of work will look like in 217 years.

“The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was Press for Progress, and that is just what many women are doing, as attention is now very much focused on achieving equality for women in the workplace.”

Brenda has been working with schools and said: “The time is very right for girls and young women to take their rightful places in international society and I’m very keen to hand the baton for change onto the younger generation.”

Brenda held a coffee morning at her home and raised money for Women for Women International, an organisation dedicated to providing women survivors of war with tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting stable societies.

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At Princess Helena College in Preston, near Hitchin, pupils pushed a bed around the school grounds for 200 seconds per year group, to represent the number of years it is predicted to take to get gender parity.

Sally Emler, who is responsible for helping to raise the aspirations of pupils at The Priory School in Hitchin, held a Women in Business Careers Fair, when young people learnt about careers in the construction industry, pharmaceuticals and the police and fire service, as well as hearing from a pilot, landscape gardener and cartographer.

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Sally said: “Both girls and boys from all age groups were invited to the event and it was great to be able to show the students that you can excel in any career you choose, regardless of your gender.”

At Needham House in Little Wymondley, 40 businesswomen enjoyed afternoon tea courtesy of NatWest, Worldpay and Tate Recruitment.

Guest speakers included style consultant Jennie Billings and life coach Emma Jaynes, who spoke about dressing for success and self-esteem and wellbeing.

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