Where are all the women?

students Yesterday, I spent the morning at my local grammar school engaging in mock interviews for the students who will be heading off to university next year.  

The school organises interviews to help support students’ applications and to offer them valuable practice interview experiences.

They ask people in the local community for help and then match students with a panel of appropriate interviewers.  I was rather surprised that when I got there that I was the only woman from a panel of 4.                                                                                                            Maybe it is because of my field of work that such gender issues seem more evident to me.

 So where are the women?

  • Are they in jobs that will not allow them out to serve the community for 3 hours or more?  Have they assumed this?  (my earlier post discusses this)
  • Are they not interested in helping the next generation?
  • Do they not have the skills and knowledge?

I don’t believe that all of the above are true. Whether you are employed or self-employed, work for a corporate or a micro business, I would urge women out there to step up and be visible. Recognise your accomplishments, share your stories and insights and have the belief and confidence that you are a worthy role model.  

Young people need to have access to role models who are real and within their grasp and not airbrushed celebrities who are so distant from their lives.

Children and young people learn from the actions and behaviours of those around them – be it at home, at school, at clubs or within our communities. If we all became effective role models how different will our world be?

So much more is required of students who are applying to study at university and those applying for jobs. Whatever help, support, advice, feedback… that you can give to young people, it will help them to leverage their position and employability.

So women out there, have the courage to be seen, to be heard, to share your expertise and to make a difference to a young person’s life. It may be a small act, but often these are the ones that make the greatest difference.  

What more can you do to help the next generation?

What are you doing now that is making a difference?

Read my posts on Leadership and the young

Should the young be taught leadership?

What stories are you telling to our future leaders?

What foundations are you laying for the future?

Everyday leadership. What does it mean to you?

This blog is part of the NaBloPoMo challenge of writing a blog everyday in November

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vera in 2012 I’m a professional coach (MA in Coaching & Mentoring) working with women and aspiring leaders to build their confidence and know how to progress, make successful changes, leverage their influence, impact, presence and communication. I am a part-time lecturer in leadership and work within organisations to develop high performing teams, mentoring schemes and facilitate skills training in leadership and management development.

Aspiring WomenJoin the Aspiring Women’s Network 3 month challenge on the 4 or 7 Dec in Ilkley.                                                                                                       An opportunity to stop procrastinating, to let go of fear and what’s holding you back, to do something that you have always wanted to do but didn’t have the courage, know how, support…


About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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2 Responses to Where are all the women?

  1. Penny says:

    Dear Vera
    How disappointing! Good on you for getting out there and doing it – but my experience is actually quite different.
    I also regularly volunteer to help local schools (Birmingham area) through STEMnet and often find women in the majority – particularly in the younger age groups. My last experience was with a large group of 15 volunteers going in to work with 120 14yr olds on a ‘Maths in the Workplace’ day – aiming to show all the pupils, regardless of their ability, future aspirations etc that EVERYBODY needs maths to a certain level, whatever job they go into. The volunteers were 10 ladies and 5 men with the men all being over 40 and a bit ‘crumpled round the edges’ (by my judgement!) and most of the ladies being late 20’s or early 30’s. and extremely well presented (great role models).

    Maybe it’s the STEM focus that brings ladies out? or STEM ladies are more active in this area?
    None of us has scientific data…and I wonder what other experiences people out there have had?

    I’m very pleased that you are encouraging other ladies to get involved, as I do – all of life’s experiences are valuable to children in these formative years. Thanks for the post!

    • verawoodhead says:

      Hi Penny, wow, sounds as if you have an active and visible group of women who are still working. I find that most people, mostly men, who volunteer for such and similar activities are usually retired. The workplace is constantly changing and technology evolving. One asked a question about library, books and films. Most universities have their resources online, use VLE…Would love to hear how you get so many women together – especially the younger ones

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