Stu­dents cam­paign to close gen­der gap

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

STU­DENTS have joined the cam­paign for a more in­clu­sive, gen­der equal world as part of In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day.

The day com­mem­o­rates the move­ment for women’s rights. This year’s cam­paign is #BeBold­forChange which fo­cuses on the chal­lenges facing women and how tech­nol­ogy can play a role in re­solv­ing them.

Stu­dents from King’s Girls’ School and Mac­cles­field Col­lege took part in a se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties to see if they can come up with ways of re­solv­ing some of the is­sues.

King’s pupils were chal- lenged to de­sign and pro­duce videos on this year’s theme, which were then played to the whole Girls’ Di­vi­sion as part of a wider dis­cus­sion of gen­der and cul­tural is­sues.

Sarah Catlin, 16, said while the gen­der pay gap is nar­row­ing, it should no longer ex­ist.

She said: “The fall in the gen­der pay gap from 17 per cent at the turn of the cen­tury to 9.4pc now is an im­prove­ment, but it’s not equal.

“It’s not cor­rect to say it can’t fall any fur­ther be­cause women are the pri­mary car­ers, men can be pri­mary car­ers too.”

Anna Bald­win, 16, added: “We might have some ground-break­ing po­lit­i­cal lead­ers who are women such as Theresa May, Ni­cola Stur­geon and Ar­lene Foster but there are more chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers named John then there are women run­ning Bri­tain’s top com­pa­nies.”

Stu­dents at Mac­cles­field Col­lege worked with staff from dig­i­tal de­sign agency Sigma to come up with ideas on how to tackle in­equal­ity.

The staff from Sigma joined them as part of the SHIFT pro­gramme, a coun­cil ini­tia­tive to cel­e­brate dig­i­tal arts and tech.

They were split into four teams and af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing prob­lems, set about cre­at­ing tech driven so­lu­tions, with awards for the best per­form­ing teams.

Shahina Pa­tel, project man­ager at Sigma, said: “The stu­dents were given a chal­leng­ing task but the teams pulled to­gether straight away and kept the en­ergy up through­out the day.

“The groups tack­led the is­sues of gen­der in­equal­i­ties with cre­ativ­ity and orig­i­nal­ity. We were re­ally im­pressed with the ideas they came up with.”

In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day at King’s Girls’ (from left): Lizzie Adams, Anna Bald­win, Zara Shutt, Izzy Stevens, Adele Le Moignon, Jess Kra­jew­ski, Me­gan Huddy, Katie Hay­ward, Sarah Caitlin and Alice Carter

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