From companies having to legally declare their gender pay gap – or lack thereof – within their organisation to the conversations being had regarding the challenges faced by women in business, inequality of the sexes in the workplace has never been more widely discussed.
So much so, even schoolchildren are noticing the impact.
The pupils of St John Plessington High School in the Wirral decided to host a no-holds-barred debate with a panel of experts of varying views to really get their teeth into “Women’s Troubles: The Big Pay Gap Debate”. Audience participation was highly encouraged, with many pupils even preparing questions prior to the event.
In association with Wirral Young Chamber, the panel was made up of Mersey Maritime CEO, Chris Shirling-Rooke, Wirral Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Enterprise and Education, Kate Eugeni, Deputy Head at St John Plessington, Mrs M Sharratt and, finally, B&M Waste’s very own Senior Marketing Executive, Jade Rice.
The audience comprised of over 150 students – aged 14-18 – from St John Plessington and neighbouring schools including St Mary’s College.
Styled as BBC’s Question Time, the setup could not have been more slick, professional and, in Jade’s own words, “slightly terrifying”! 18 year-old Head Boy, Jonathan Nield, chaired and hosted the event, promising “no stone will be left unturned in [his] no-messing approach”.
And, boy, did Jonathan keep his promise!
From meritocracy to positive discrimination, societal and cultural role models to maternity leave rights, the questions were hard-hitting and thought-provoking. Jade stated; “It was a fantastic event to be a part of. The pupils were so keen, smart and seriously clued-up. It was great to hear them voicing strong, valid opinions on such an important matter. If they’re a representation of tomorrow’s leaders – and I think they are – things can only get better.”
Jade went on to say; “I’m proud to represent B&M Waste here today and am grateful to work for a company that values gender equality as highly as I do. I hope that, by shining a light on this critical issue, we can start to address this evident imbalance.”