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Vicky Pryce: 'Women in senior positions find it hard to argue for public quotas'

Margi Murphy | April 16, 2015
Could rebranding be a better way to approach the skills crisis?

Re-branding

Pryce sits on the cross-party, cross Houses of Parliament Design Commission, which has worked to point out the importance of design and creativity in engineering - which may make it more appealing to girls and women.

But, as Lane-Fox also pointed out in her Dimbleby lecture recently, the seed must be planted very early on.

"No one can dispute the role that education - a level playing field - can play in addressing imbalances in all sorts of areas from inequality of opportunity, to a radical shift in traditional attitudes. It will take us more than a generation to harvest its results though," Pryce says.

Although Pryce was brought up in Greece, she witnessed what impact poor career options for girls could have when her children went through the UK education system.

"I watched my daughters being given rather feeble career advice that would have affected their ambitions if they hadn't been stronger minded. Career advisory services, which have had funding cuts as I am aware across the board, do not explain the range you can cover as an engineer."

One firm where Pryce worked previously, BIS (Bank for International Settlements), has run campaigns to alter the image of manufacturing to prospective students. Pryce believes rebranding firms will go a long way to solve the gender problem.

 

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