Gender equality expert, Nadia Nagamootoo, has told local businesses that men need support to create a fair and inclusive workplace.
She made the bold statement at the first birthday celebration of the Women in Nuclear (WiN) Cumbria group on International Women’s Day (8 March).
More than 150 people from 30 businesses across the county gathered at the Energus centre, Lillyhall to mark the occasion.
It gathered businesses and individuals from across Cumbria to celebrate the achievements of the branch, and discuss what still needs to be done to progress gender balance in the nuclear sector.
Speakers including chartered psychologist and gender equality expert, Nadia Nagamootoo, Paul Howarth from the National Nuclear Laboratory and Rebecca Weston from Sellafield Ltd.
Chair of the WiN Cumbria, Claire Gallery-Strong, said: “This wasn’t just a celebration and a pat on the back, it was a way for us to move the conversation to the next level and see what we can do next to make real changes to gender inequality.
“Our guest speaker, Nadia, provided the ‘penny drop’ moment of the day when she told us that society doesn’t allow men to break free of their stereotypical ‘bread winner ’role, which in turn impacts on a woman’s choices too.
“This really hit home with our audience as we understand men have an important part to play in creating the change.
“Nadia’s findings are based on strong research, so it is something WiN Cumbria is going to take forward, to see how we can help address some of the issues facing men in Cumbria, like flexible working and unconscious bias, for example.
“We look forward to continuing our mission to create an inclusive and fair environment that helps attract, retain and build a diverse workforce of the future, for Cumbria and the UK.
“I urge anyone, male or female, with an interest in helping to drive gender balance in the area, to join us.”
Recognising the unique contribution that the Cumbria makes to the nuclear sector, ‘Women in Nuclear (WiN) UK’ launched the dedicated ‘Cumbria’ branch in 2018.
Since its launch, the WiN Cumbria network has become a powerful community of local organisations and individuals working together to achieve gender diversity within the Cumbrian workforce.
Trudy Harrison MP has also backed WiN Cumbria as a key player in helping achieve the one of the ambitions laid out in the Nuclear Sector Deal, to see 40 per cent more females working in the industry by 2030.
The team is also nominated for a Northern Power Women award, which will be announced at a ceremony in Manchester on 18 March.
To find out more about how WiN Cumbria can support you, contact [email protected].