International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements and rally for women's equality.
Together – the further education sector in Wales believes in equality of opportunity and promoting career routes and opportunities that might not fit traditional stereotypes. Our mission is to provide high quality education that creates skilled and employable people to all and our role as leaders in diversity demonstrates we are committed to inclusivity and improved prospects for everyone.
At Coleg Gwent, female staff and leaders inspire learners everyday across their five campuses. They are experts in their fields, with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share from the industries they have worked in; and are also paving the way for women to thrive in traditionally male-dominated industries, making Coleg Gwent a supportive and inclusive place to study.
Alexis Dabee Saltmarsh, who is a Lecturer of Motorsports, Aeronautical and Composite Engineering at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, realised she wanted to educate and support young people, sharing her knowledge and passion for the constant changes and advancements in technology after graduating in Product Design.
“the biggest achievement in my career is being recognised and respected in a field traditionally dominated by men. As an ethnic minority woman in this industry, I’ve seen significant changes and broken the stigma, demonstrating that women can be successful in this field of work”.
‘I’d advise any women and young girls looking to enter this industry as a career to identify which pathway they would enjoy. There are many different types of engineering jobs available and pursuing the right pathway will help in the long run. There are numerous, exciting areas of engineering that need to be acknowledged in schools, to promote the fantastic opportunities that women can achieve in engineering disciplines.”
We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion, and having one collective and unified voice is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity.