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Pioneering equality campaign to launch in Lancashire

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An innovative UK-wide project which aims to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs is launching in Lancashire next month. ROLE is on a mission to tackle the lack of women on FTSE 100 boards, give female managers the confidence they need to climb the career ladder and ensure that every woman in the UK has a career role model.

Only 23% of UK senior managers, 20% of MPs and 6% of engineering professions are female and ROLE aims to redress that gender imbalance by empowering and training women nationwide. ROLE is currently recruiting 500 male and female ambassadors from industry, education and the media, with the support of accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK.

This expert team will mentor junior and middle managers taking ROLE Chartered Management Institute qualifications, giving them the confidence to become the chief executives and company directors of tomorrow. In return, ROLE members will inspire the next generation by mentoring girls in education in a safe and secure online environment. The aim is to provide a role model for every woman in the UK that wants one – from their teenage years to retirement.

ROLE will use its digital platform to signpost girls as young as 13 to mentoring organizations to start them on their enterprise journey. With women already in the workplace it will match ROLE members with senior managers in their industry to help them reach the top.

The ambitious campaign is the brainchild of self-made businesswoman and serial entrepreneur Wendy Bowers and is supported by the British Chambers of Commerce and Barclays.

Wendy said: “Women are good for business - companies with more than 30% female board members demonstrate profits up 48% and company values up 35%. So the fact that there are so few women in the most senior roles is bad news for Britain. ROLE is here to change all that forever.” Wendy, who is President of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, is one of only a handful of female Chambers of Commerce presidents nationwide and a Director of the British Chambers of Commerce.

She said: “There has been huge progress made with regards to equality in every sense since I set up my first business in the late 70s, yet in 2014, only 15% of businesses are female owned. “This is an unacceptable situation and is costing the UK economy billions of pounds in wasted talent." 

The national launch of ROLE takes place at Blackburn College on June 5 with an expert panel, discussion and guest speakers. Everyone is welcome to attend the free event, especially women interested in being mentored or becoming a ROLE Ambassador. To register for the launch, click here.


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