Banking on a better future for women

Scottish Widows, the Insurance division of Lloyds Banking Group, organised an event in Parliament last night for WEA students, volunteers, staff, MPs from England, Scotland and Wales and people from partner organisations. We are grateful to Fiona Mactaggart MP, who not only hosted the evening, but who is well-known to WEA students in Slough.

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Fiona Mactaggart MP welcoming guests to the Parliamentary event

Scottish Widows is working with the WEA to support adults returning to education and to reduce financial and social inclusion, as well as building a greater understanding of financial planning.  400 Scottish Widows’ staff have been sharing their skills and knowledge with over 2,000 WEA students, volunteers and staff. Some have helped students in ESOL classes with speaking and listening skills while others have volunteered in employability workshops designed to help students to identify their strengths and skills for finding jobs. This film explains more:

The main purpose of the Parliamentary event was to launch a WEA report on “Securing a better future for women”. As well as Fiona Mactaggart, speakers included Toby Strauss, Group Director for insurance at Lloyds Banking Group and CEO of Scottish Widows, Ruth Spellman, the WEA’s CEO and Hazel Richardson, a WEA tutor from Yorkshire.

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Speakers: Top left: Fiona Mactaggart Top Right: Toby Strauss Bottom Left: Ruth Spellman Bottom Right: Hazel Richardson

The report examines priorities for helping women, particularly those who are older, into work or better job opportunities and development. It suggests urgent action in three areas:

  • giving women the confidence to take up and progress in work;
  • provide them with the skills businesses need;
  • and provide more opportunities for flexible working in the workplace.

Around 75% of WEA students are women, with many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds. The WEA has campaigned for the rights of women since it was founded in 1903, with early public advocacy of nursery education and the suffragette movement.

This report is part of the WEA’s ongoing campaign on Women Overcoming Disadvantage.  More information is available here.

You can find out more about the event and download the report here.

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About Ann Walker
Adult education and lifelong learning specialist and campaigner. LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1GI0QK1

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