£11 million EU-backed project to promote gender equality in Wales’ workplaces
Finance and Government Business Minister, Jane Hutt, will today announce a Welsh Government investment of £10 million, including over £8 million of EU funds, to help improve gender equality in workplaces across Wales.
The Agile Nation 2 project, delivered by Chwarae Teg between 2015 and 2018, will support 2,750 women and work with 400 employers to promote female career advancement and help reduce the gender pay-gap.
The project will support women in work to develop their careers by delivering accredited leadership qualifications and mentoring, and will support businesses to implement equality strategies and modern working practices.
It builds on the success of the first Agile Nation project, also supported by EU funds, which boosted the careers of almost 3,000 women and worked with over 500 employers.
Visiting AIC Steel, which employs 128 people from its UK base in Newport, Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said:
“Over £2 billion of EU funds are being invested in Wales over the next six years to help drive the transformation of our economy and labour market.
“Through EU funds we are investing in skills to improve people’s prospects of career progression and higher earnings, as well as promoting equality of opportunity in the workplace.
“I’m delighted that over £10 million of EU and Welsh Government funds will enable the successor Agile Nation 2 project to help promote gender equality, focusing on nine key sectors of the Welsh economy, including advanced manufacturing, life sciences and health, and energy.”
Joy Kent, Chief Executive at Chwarae Teg, said:
“We're really pleased to be able to build on the success of our previous EU and Welsh Government funded project to help more women into leadership roles, and employers to make the most of women's skills.
“Our work over coming years will focus on companies and sectors that have been identified as important to the growth of the Welsh economy. Many of these sectors experience both significant skills gaps and the under-representation of women, such as the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing sector where women represent just 19.3 per cent of the workforce.
“Through this new project we have the opportunity to work across Wales to make progress in reducing the gender pay gap by ensuring women are able to contribute more to the growth of the economy – a win-win for us all.”
AIC Steel Chief Executive, Michael Treacy, added:
“The steel industry is heavily underrepresented by women, and we are passionate about promoting gender equality and encouraging more women into the manufacturing sector.
“The industry will hugely benefit from a wider skill pool and this can only be achieved through harnessing talent in both genders. At AIC Steel we champion flexible working and fair career progression, and are proud our employees work in a diverse and equal environment.
“We look forward to using the programme to further enhance the work we are doing, ensuring we achieve our aims quickly and to the highest possible standard. We owe it to the industry and encourage other businesses to do the same.”
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