International Women's Day is celebrated on 8th March each year and aims to help nations worldwide to eliminate discrimination against women.
The theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual which is focused on building a gender equal world. The race is on for the equal boardroom, a gender equal government, a gender equal media, gender equal workplaces, gender equal sports coverage and gender equality in health and wealth.
To celebrate International Women's Day, we are celebrating the females behind Derwent Training.
Claire Gavaghan, Chief Executive Officer
All my professional career has revolved around STEM education. Far more people now know about, and can name, women who have contributed to science and maths throughout history, for example Katherine Johnson and Ada Lovelace. However, there is still much to do to have more females come into STEM careers. We cannot be complacent about it. As we promote this, I feel it is important for businesses to ensure there is gender equality. To that end, I am pleased that Derwent Training has increased the proportion of female staff from 35% in January 2019 to 47% in March 2020. Furthermore, I am delighted to have our first female engineering trainer. Our place in business and education is the result of all women who have gone before us and fought and argued for equal pay and equal employment rights. Nationally, there is still progress to be made but here at Derwent Training, there is no gender disparity with regards the terms and conditions or pay. I am very proud of this and will ensure it remains so. I do think there is much still to do in society as many women are reluctant to put themselves forward. I would ask all women to build other women up and not join in when society, particularly social media, tries to knock them down. I believe International Women’s Day is a day where we should all think about those who have gone before us and champion and encourage those who will come after us.
Nichola Zanda, Business Support Manager
I have worked at Derwent Training for 21 years, starting as a Receptionist situation in a small portakabin to gradually working my way up to being Business Support Manager, where Derwent Training is now situation in a specialist Training Centre. The most rewarding thing about working at Derwent Training is that I have seen the company grow, delivering engineering training to apprentices in the region and working closely with employers to provide an excellent service. Over the years I have seen a big increase in female apprentices which we have worked hard to promote for many years, and will continue to do so. Gender equality play an important role within Derwent Training as we need more females in the engineering sector, and in all other sectors. Females need to be aware that they can get the same rights and opportunities as males.
Tina Sandford, Mechanical Trainer
I was always interested in how things worked, and I first took an interest in welding. I quickly applied for an engineering course to better understand the precision principles and machining. The most rewarding part of being on the training team at Derwent Training is helping to shape the future of young engineers. It is important for equality in STEM to get balanced view points. We do have some young ladies training at Derwent Training and it would be nice to see some more join them at the next intake.
Lauren Heslington, Business Development Officer
I have always grown up around engineering with my Dad being a Maintenance Engineer and my Grandad owning his own car garage, but engineering or apprenticeships weren’t put to me as an option when I was leaving school, and the information of positive role models to strike that passion wasn’t there either. I started at Northumbria University doing English Language and Linguistics, but I found that the learning style didn’t suit me, so I left after two months. I have been working at Derwent Training for 6 years, progressing from a Business Administration Apprentice to Business Development Officer. The favourite part of my role is speaking to young people to show them what engineering really is, and providing them with the information I didn’t receive at school. Over the past few years, I have seen some fantastic female engineering apprentices at Derwent Training which have excelled in their careers. I believe that more should be done to promote positive female role models so that we can readily see who shaped our today, but also show others what great contribution females have made in society and stop gender inequality.
Laura Pearson, Business Administrator
After leaving college I decided to progress my learning, so I studied IT Management for Business at Northumbria University and achieved a first-class degree. I volunteered at University, which involved assisting the older generation to help them gain confidence and improve their skills in using devices such as computers, tablets and mobile phones. I enjoyed volunteering as I had a sense of achievement when I taught someone something new that they could use in their day to day lives. In my spare time, I enjoy baking (especially brownies), going to the gym and socialising with my friends and family.
I started working at Derwent Training in 2018 and thoroughly enjoy working with the team. The most rewarding aspect is helping to tackle unemployment in the North Yorkshire region. I am proud that Derwent Training are continuously providing high quality training to up and coming engineers, which is helping improve economic growth. I feel it is important to have gender equality as people should not be discriminated based on their gender, in any environment. No one should feel vulnerable to discrimination or harassment. Everyone should have the same opportunities in life, no matter what gender you are.
We would also like to celebrate the other two females in our team:
Karen Taylor, Accounts Manager
Ann Watson, Chief Executive Officer of Enginuity (Derwent Training Director)
To learn more about International Women's Day, please click here