Graduate gender pay gap to be tackled

University of Leicester launch Sprint programme to 'degenderise' career options

The University of Leicester has officially launched the third annual Sprint Programme as part of its commitment to advancing gender equality and improving the employability of students from less advantaged backgrounds.

Developed by The Springboard Consultancy, Sprint is a personal and work development programme specifically tailored for undergraduate women. Through four action-packed workshops, Sprint aims to enable women to take clear, practical and realistic steps to take more control over their lives.

According to research by the University of Oxford, women graduates earn £2,000 a year less than their male counterparts immediately on leaving university, and the gap is £3,000 for women who studied part time for their degree. 

Sprint is a fantastic opportunity for female undergraduates to develop their leadership skills, allowing them to achieve their ambitions and excel

Sprint is one of the initiatives being implemented to advance gender equality as part of the University’s HeForShe partnership with the United Nations. Jointly delivered by the University of Leicester’s award-winning Career Development Service and official sponsors Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the programme will provide women with role models and mentors from both corporate and academic life.

Elizabeth Cornish, Leicester Award Project Manager and Sprint Trainer in the Career Development Service, said: “Sprint provides women with a gender-safe, non-competitive environment to develop their skills, try new things and ultimately build the confidence necessary to give them an equal footing on the career ladder. Working with corporate sponsors like RBS also provides students with the opportunity to develop networks, essential to their future success.”

Antonia Jackson, Equalities Project Officer, added: “Sprint is a fantastic opportunity for female undergraduates to develop their leadership skills, allowing them to achieve their ambitions and excel.  Through our HeForShe work, we are working closely with our Career Development Service to degenderise career options, and really want to encourage women to enter “non-traditional” fields.  Sprint allows women to take hold of their personal development, and gives women the confidence to enter fields in which they are currently underrepresented.”

W: le.ac.uk