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Women and Work networking event inspires courage to tackle workplace gender inequality

From left to right: Claire Annesley, Jackie O'Reilly, Tracy Brabin MP, Yvonne Greeves

Business Management students Catherine Park and Maylyn Ellis joined other guests at a busy networking event hosted by the Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group and the University of Sussex Business School.

The event was opened by Tracy Brabin MP, with further short talks from Professor Jacqueline O’Reilly, Professor Claire Annesley, and Yvonne Greeves, Head of Women in Business at NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland & Ulster, on tackling gender inequality in business and entrepreneurship.

Tracy Brabin reminded the audience it had taken over 100 years for a female leader to join the ranks of male statues in Parliament Square, outside the Houses of Parliament. The bronze statue of suffragette leader Millicent Fawcett (instrumental in achieving votes for British women in 1918) holds a banner saying ‘courage calls to courage everywhere’ - a message which, as Tracey pointed out, is equally as relevant and important for women in work today.

Yvonne Greeves spoke about the work she is doing to address gender disparity and break down barriers women still face in entrepreneurship. Business start-up schemes aimed at women are helping female entrepreneurs to apply for capital injection and gain enhanced business risk awareness, alongside access to mentorship schemes and entrepreneur clubs.

Jacqueline O'Reilly, Professor of Comparative Human Resource Management at the Business School, highlighted her research into the impact of digital technology in the workplace and how articificial intelligence, especially algorithms, can effect gender equality through system bias.The Business School recently announced a new joint research centre to explore how digital technology will impact the future of work.

The Women and Work APPG provides a forum to constructively examine and debate the role that policy makers can play to deliver gender balance within the economy. The Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator programme will be hosting a seminar at the School in mid-October.

Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex Business School
Last updated: Monday, 30 September 2019