DWP Avon Somerset and Gloucestershire District
100 Women. Closing the widest Gender pay gap in the UK.
The DWP Avon Somerset and Gloucestershire Jobcentre District have been working in partnership with Sedgemoor Council, and a whole range of community organisations to deliver the 100 Women project.
Sedgemoor in Somerset (the Somerset Levels, Bridgwater, and the Quantocks) had the widest gender pay gap for women in the UK before our work, and the project we designed was tackle that gender pay disparity and the underrepresentation of women in traditionally male dominated roles.
The mission’s aim was by using mentoring; apprenticeships, training, voluntary work, work experience, business start-up we could enable over 100 women into sustainable well paid employment. We empowered ambassadors to support women into employment to enable retention and sustainability for the project going forward ~ providing a lasting legacy.
We wanted to also build community cohesion and break down barriers by encouraging communication and understanding. We made sure this project met the needs of BAME citizens using contacts with Bridgwater’s community elders and faith leaders. From this many of the participants were BAME, working to became ambassadors and role models themselves.
Equality of access to, and attainment of, educational qualifications was integral so we enabled literacy, ESOL and numeracy knowing they are key to improving health, nutrition and education in the family and to empowering women to participate in decision-making in society. We made sure things were fun as well so there were 10 pin bowling nights and yoga in the park ~ all to make sure people were engaged in making a career their attainable goal.
Our objective was that investing in the education of women brings high returns in terms of breaking cycles of poverty and aiding economic growth for all our citizens.