Education is the key to combating workplace gender inequality
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Education is the key to combating workplace gender inequality

Education is the key to combating workplace gender inequality

Women are much less likely than men to ask for a pay rise. And with the pay gap increasing, it is more crucial than ever girls and young women are raised to stand up for inequality in the workplace.

Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) CEO Cheryl Giovannoni wants to change attitudes.

Giovannoni is working to arm girls with the necessary confidence and skills to challenge a system which is tipped so far in men’s favour.

“It is about teaching them those skills and having a sense of what it takes to be a leader,” she told Tes. “And the kind of resilience and grit required.”

GDST has 23 independent girls’ schools and two academies. Giovannoni claimed it can be “challenging” to keep costs down while running the programme, especially as they offer bursaries and scholarships.

Despite this, the trust is working tirelessly to bring their girls up to feel able to combat workplace inequality.

The trust connects sixth-form students to one person from GDST’s alumni network of 75,000 women. The sixth formers are linked with a professional woman working in an area of business or a profession in which they have expressed an interest.

The professional is there to inspire and motivate the sixth former as well as offer advice.

“I think teaching girls that being able to ask for that pay rise, or to demonstrate what you have achieved and to be confident in having those conversations, is really important,” said Giovannoni. “Girls do really well all the way through school, [but] when women tend to flounder is when they get into the workplace. They don’t make as much progress as men do.”

Giovannoni wants to reach “as many girls as possible”. To do this, she said, “it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a couple more academies in the trust would be things we would entertain”.

“If we can expand our influence and help schools in different ways, that’s very much a part of what we feel we should be doing.”

The world needs to raise women to speak out, to be bold and courageous in the workplace and even the score when it comes to gender inequality. And how do we build young women up to be able to do this? Through education, of course.

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