Andrea Leadsome: A Former Prime Ministerial Candidate Addressing the Gender Imbalance in the Nuclear Industry
Editor's Note: Andrea Leadsom has been named Environment Secretary by new Prime Minister Theresa May; she had been previously Energy Secretary
I am very pleased to be here today supporting Women in Nuclear UK's mission to address the gender imbalance in the nuclear sector and delighted to speak to you as part of the only all women Commons Ministerial team!
I have worked in a number of male dominated sectors so, for me, this issue has a deep, personal resonance.
We can send people to the moon. We can explore the vast depths of our oceans. We can build great cities and towering structures. We can even talk to our computers. We have achieved greatness in many areas. But on the issue of gender imbalance, while there has been progress in the UK and around the world, far more needs to be done.
It is imperative that we empower women now and for the future. A great number of British women have inspired us throughout history, succeeding against all the odds, to blaze a trail for future generations to follow.
Down through the centuries, British women have made their mark; in areas such as politics, literature, medicine, and social reform.
Jane Austen the great novelist, Dorothy Hodgkin won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964, and Helen Sharman was the first British woman in space.
We look to them, and many others, with pride and revel in their legacy that changed our society forever.
These women serve as a reminder as to what can be achieved when women are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
I want the nuclear industry to be a launch pad for the next generation of world changing women pioneers, I want the nuclear industry to provide strong female role models, strong female leaders and a strong female presence in the sector’s workforce.
Today I want to set out why it is imperative that we address the gender imbalance, what initiatives are in place within the nuclear industry and what more can be done.
Gender balance globally and the UK
The World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Report ranks 145 economies according to how well they leverage their female talent pool. The UK is in 18th place, up from 26th place in 2014. Iceland holds the top spot, 5 years in a row, with three Nordic countries following close behind.
What is the reason behind these countries’ success? Among other equitable policies, it is the combination of high female labour force participation, salary gaps between men and women being among the lowest in the world and abundant opportunities for women to rise to positions of leadership. We must learn from these countries leading in the area of gender balance.
- It's a Prototype! 2016 White House Science Fair
- Without Delay: Restoring the Eligibility of WASPs to Have Their Ashes at Arlington National Cemetery
- Not By the Book: Musing About My Sex Ed Class
- The Bored of Education: Lessons From a Lifetime in the Classroom
- A Memorial Day Scout Report: iWASwondering, EduBlogger, Freakonomics Radio, Plotly, WWI Visual History and a Darwin Manuscripts Tree
- The Late P.D. James, Writing Within the Conventions of a Classical Detective story and Regarded as a Serious Novelist
- What's The Matter With Politicians? Don't They have Families Like the Rest of Us?
- Get to Know a Frog, or a Worm, or a Fish Says Sylvia Earle; Everybody has a vote. Use it to help sustain the environment
- A Hearing on Women-Owned Small Businesses: Barbara Corcoran, "The startup game remains vastly male dominated"
- A Vanity Fair Cover and Shifting Gender Roles in World War I; Medical Corps & Red Cross Dogs