MK Council is investing £30,000 to support local businesses to create more inclusive workplaces and a mentoring programme to help women who are struggling to find work after the pandemic.

As part of its £2.25m Economic Recovery Plan, the Council is working with the charity, Women Leaders group to create “allies” who will work with local businesses to help them recognise the role they have to play in progressing gender equality in the workplace.  The programme is open to all small businesses and consists of a two-hour workshop focusing on acknowledging privilege and becoming an advocate for change.

Women Leaders are also running a career-connect programme which offers one-to-one sessions for people struggling to get back into work.  Applicants will be paired up with a mentor to support with regaining confidence, building networks and enrolling onto Continued Professional Development (CPD) programmes.

The partnership with Women Leaders is just one of the initiatives to support women back into work as part of the Council’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Robin Bradburn said: “We all have a responsibility to ensure the places we work are welcoming for everyone, particularly employees who are underrepresented in the workplace.  I’d strongly encourage small businesses to get in touch and women who need support getting back into the workplace.

“I’m proud of the work the Council is doing to help those people who have been most affected by the pandemic and look forward to strengthening this support as part of our Economic Recovery Plan.”

Ruby Parmar, trustee and Vice Chair of the Women Leaders charity said: “We have been mentoring local women for some years, but no time more than now is such support vital.  Our CareerConnect programme, working with other local groups, will help to support women with their journey back into the workplace as well as guiding young women starting in the job market for the first time.

“With our Allyship programme we aim to engage with local businesses to share experiences and highlight the positive impacts on both gender parity and business growth through having inclusive processes and cultures.  We’re delighted that MK Council are supporting us with both initiatives.”

For more information on the Women Leaders programmes, please email [email protected].

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