National Council of Women says young women should Speak Out

Published on Thursday, 11 July 2013 13:21
Written by Ros Altmann

The National Council of Women Great Britain (NCW) are looking for young women aged 13-30 who are passionate about government and want to let the government know what improvements the government should be making. We spoke to Ros Altmann, competition judge and winner of the Women in Public Life award for Public Affairs Achiever of the Year.

GT: Hi @rosaltmann, tell us a little about the Speak Out competition.

RA: The #SpeakOut competition gives young women a chance to tell Gov what it needs to do to improve women's lives. The competition closes July 12 so get writing! 300-500 words for girls age 13-18, up to 750 words for girls 18-30. The winner will go to New York in March 2014 to attend UN annual conference on status of women.

GT: Who is the competition looking for?

RA: Competition is looking for young girls or women who want to engage in political debate and help improve women's lives

GT: What does the NCW do and how does it help young women?

RA: NCW, an educational charity, aims to improve lives of women, girls &society in general. Operates in UK and globally.

GT: Are women mis-represented within the boardrooms of businesses in terms of ratio?

RA: Women are significantly under-represented on UK Boards especially FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Under 20% directors are women.

GT: This is an age old question, but why are women under-represented on boards, is it suitability? experience?

RA: Women are so under-represented on Boards partly due to lack of experience, partly still elements of discrimination. Many Board Nomination Committees are dominated by men. They look for like-minded people while women often bring different skills. Women need more confidence in their own abilities too - and women helping/mentoring other women too.

GT: Great answer, what support bodies exist in terms of peer to peer support for women?

RA: This is a great link. Fawcett Society, Mentoring Foundation, 30% Club - all to help women.

GT: The ESRC has reported women know less about politics, thoughts?

RA: Women less positively engaged in politics than men, maybe they're less confident? Women's views often not considered

GT: Thanks, Ros!

If you are interested in entering the competition visit the NCW website for more info and the online application.

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