One hundred women joined together in Lincoln to celebrate International Women's Day and highlight the lack of female representation in positions of power in UK Business.
One hundred female leaders and managers from local businesses joined together at Lincoln College on Friday March 8th to release 100 balloons, with just 16 of them being red to represent the 16% of female Chairs in Further Education.
The event was hosted by Margaret Serna, Chair of the Boards of Lincoln College, LEAP and The Newark Academy, who feels passionately about supporting women to succeed. "We want to focus on the barriers for women and that despite the many past initiatives on equality and diversity, numbers haven't increased. Lots of people 'talk the talk' but we need action and that isn't about positive discrimination but identification of the real barriers and action to do something about it."
Also present at the event were international students from Lincoln College who were be encouraged to 'buddy' with the attendees in order to gain inspiration for their future careers.
The issue of poor female representation in senior positions has been discussed time and time again, but despite this, little progress has been made. A comprehensive review by Lord Davies in 2010 looked specifically at females on UK boards, and highlighted that at present rates of recruitment it would take over 70 years to achieve gender balanced Boards.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said, "Increasing the number of women on boards is not just an aspiration for greater equality; it is also an important issue for economic growth. Research shows that diverse boards make better decisions and are more effective. Since Lord Davies published his recommendations, there has been strong momentum for change and real engagement from business and investors in addressing diversity issues."