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Inspiring Report from the Women 20 – Germany Forum

In April 2017 Ann-Maree Morrison, Honorary Professor of the Stirling Management School and a member of our Management School Board, was invited to be one of only a few UK delegates to W20 (part of the G20) or Women20-Germany. This is a Forum which has been set up as part of the G20 Nations for the past 3 years for female empowerment with the aim of reducing the gender pay gap by 25% by the year 2025. At the current rate of change without substantial input by the G20 it will take 170 years for a woman to earn the same as a man! The biggest pay gap comes about after maternity leave but if a woman wanted to earn the same as an 18 year old man she would have to start earning an income at the age of 8. Shocking statistics but these are just some presented by think tanks involved in the W20 working groups and summit in Berlin in April.

Ann-Maree is Chairwoman of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Scotland and Vice-President for the UK (see www.bawe-scotland.org) and an entrepreneur, having set up www.labels4kids.com 13 years ago. Her digital skills were put to use on the Digital forum for W20 discussing how we can get women and girls involved in STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and how access to digital can be improved. She also contributed to the labour market inclusion and financial pay gap groups and the finalising of the communiqué report in Berlin and handing this over to the current head of the G20, Dr Angela Merkel.

The event was great networking with many likeminded women and the opportunity to personally hear from Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde of the IMF, Christie Freeland of Canada, Ivanka Trump representing the US government, Queen Maxim of the Netherlands and others. Many female large business owners from around the world attended and many of the United Nations, International Trade Centre, Chatham House and other think tanks for the G20 nations. Ann-Maree would encourage women to get involved in STEM subjects and to network in the right groups. Networking can be really beneficial to your career if you know your stuff and then get involved attending high level conferences at your own cost when you are asked. It would have been easy to turn away this opportunity to travel at your own cost to such a summit but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity Ann-Maree says. She has a pile of 100 business cards home with her to link up with! Not only that but Ann-Maree managed to get selfies with both Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde. She could have had one with Ivanka too but decided to back off on that one. She still managed a good photo or two anyway.

The good news from the summit was that Angela Merkel, and all the women involved, are determined that W20 will become a more forceful and larger part of the G20 in future and there will be strong pressure for the G20 to take forward the 3 main findings over coming years and achieve and improve on these. The main 3 findings of the W20 which will be put to the G20 by Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hamburg in July are:

  1. 25 by 25: We need to embed gender equality into the G20 action plan. The G20 have already committed to 25% reduction in gender gap by 2025. We need precise measures for this to monitor progress by Country and we need all G20 politicians to push for action on this.
  2. Funding: Funding is required to provide finance for women entrepreneurs, whether micro or small, for both developed and developing countries. This is essential for growth, to employ staff, and to provide social protection floors (minimal pay amount to be above the poverty level).
  3. Digital: A partnership is required to ensure gender equality transformation giving access, training and skills to women on digital. Digital being access to mobile, laptops, desktops, and the skills to use them, whether at home or in public buildings or at work. This is one of the biggest areas of the communiqué and the group that I was involved in the detailed working group for. Women are behind men with digital skills and access in the G20 and beyond.

Introducing the ‘new’ destination of leavers from higher education survey

You may have heard colleagues talking about the proposed changes to the annual destination of leavers from higher education survey, which, currently, looks at what our graduates are up to six months after graduation.

There is a really helpful (and brief!) blog from Dan Cook who is Head of Data Policy and Development at the Higher Education Statistical Agency which provides all the background you need to know.

The final period of consultation is now open and you can find information on it here

BBC Employability Day

In September a group of University of Stirling’s final year Communication, Media and Culture students had the opportunity to spend the day with two industry experts: Bill Ward, Executive Director of the McRoberts Art Centre (and ex BBC Talent Manager), together with the current BBC Talent Scotland Manager, Jo Johnstone.


Following an introduction to working at the BBC and a Q & A, students were divided into teams and given a group task where in the role of a Production Runner they had to prioritise tasks and deal with issues as they arose. They were then given the opportunity to have a 1:1 interview and received feedback on their CV and performance. The day proved a hit with students and with the industry experts.


Jo Johnstone said, “I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and confidence of the students.  They all took the exercises very seriously and presented themselves very well.  I came away thinking what an employable group of young people they were.  These are difficult times for young people to get continuity of work, but if they continue to keep their eyes on their goals, I am sure they will all be successful.  I am look forward to seeing them in the industry in the future!”

Disabled graduates’ labour market prospects better than assumed

AGCAS has published the latest edition of What Happens Next? A Report on the First Destinations of 2014 Disabled Graduates. The report compares the employment outcomes of disabled and non-disabled university leavers six months after graduation and draws upon the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. This edition of What Happens Next? includes, for the first time, data on postgraduate leavers.

Background to the report

The DLHE includes analysis of data from the 341,760 graduates from first degree, higher degree (taught) and higher degree (research) qualifications who responded to the 2013/14 survey. Of this total number of graduates, 11.3% (38,770) identified themselves as having either a disability or learning difficulty during their period of study. The report not only answers questions about the destinations of disabled graduates, but also offers an insight into how students found out about their jobs, the reasons they had for taking them, and how well they felt their university experience prepared them for employment, further study or self-employment.

Key findings

At all qualification levels, non-disabled graduates were more likely to be in full-time employment than disabled graduates; disabled graduates were also more likely to be unemployed. However, when figures for first degree graduates were compared with the previous year’s figures, this ‘gap’ in full-time employment had decreased.

From examining the destinations of graduates with different disabilities at each qualification level, the data reveals that there was an increase in the proportion entering part-time or full-time employment with a postgraduate degree (taught) and, more markedly, postgraduate degree (research).

The proportion of graduates disclosing a disability decreased with level of qualification, despite the fact that only slightly fewer disabled graduates than non-disabled graduates progressed to full or part-time study after their first degree. In fact, there were greater proportions of disabled graduates pursuing second degrees and further study.

When asked how they had heard about the job they were in at the time of the survey, graduates at all qualification levels with a social or Autistic Spectrum Disorder condition were least likely to have come across the vacancy via a source from their university or college. Considering that this group are the most likely to be unemployed, perhaps university and college careers and employability services should reflect on how they can maximise the engagement of graduates from this disability group.

Stirling Top University in Scotland for Employability

The University of Stirling is top in Scotland and third in the UK for university graduate employability among institutions with more than 500 respondents, according to new statistics released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Almost 97 per cent of graduates from Stirling, a 0.8 per cent increase on last year, have a positive destination after University, including employment and further study.

Stirling tops the table of Scotland’s universities, second only to a Small Specialist Institution (SSI), the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and gains the third highest percentage of positive destination leavers of 151 UK universities.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Gerry McCormac, said: “In delivering high quality, relevant and innovative academic courses, we aim to equip all of our students with lifelong knowledge and skills that ensure their readiness for life after University.

“Our Careers and Employability Service is also integral to developing students into employable, confident graduates with the requisite skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to and succeed in an ever changing environment outside of campus. It’s fantastic to be recognised for this as we continue to see our graduates thrive and reach their full potential.”


What graduates get the top pay?

Great presentation from Professor Anna Vignoles looking at the link between earnings and students’ background, degree subject and university attended. The slides and findings are at http://www.stir.ac.uk/social-sciences/seminarsandevents/facultyseminars/previousfacultyseminars/


Graduate labour market continues to improve

This annual graduate labour market survey from Association of Graduate Careers Advisoty Services reveals that the vast majority of the leaders of higher education careers and employability services believe that the graduate labour market improved further in 2015.

More than four in five (81.5%) of respondents to the AGCAS Heads of Service Graduate Market and Student Engagement Survey agree that the graduate labour market was more buoyant in the year to 31 July 2015 than the previous year. Heads observed an increase in graduate opportunities in five key sectors: information technology; accounting, banking and finance; business consulting and management; marketing, advertising and PR; and engineering and manufacturing.

Findings from the survey also show that there was a noticeable increase in employer engagement with careers fairs in the year to 31 July 2015, particularly small and specialised careers fairs. Careers service engagement with students prior to their final year also continues to increase.

You can acess the full report at http://www.agcas.org.uk/assets/download?file=5638&parent=2049


Teaching Bites – upcoming sessions on employability

The Teaching Bites progamme has a number of workshops coming up on developing employability in the curriculum. For more details and to sign up have a look at the elearning blog at http://e-learning.wordpress.stir.ac.uk/2015/11/11/teaching-bites-7/

What do graduates do 2015?

The 2015 edition of What Do Graduates Do? is published today. The research reveals the destinations of 267,735 full- and part-time first degree graduates in January 2015, six months after they had left university.

 Findings from the 2015 edition show that a total of 199,810 graduates were known to be working in the UK six months after graduation, up 6% from last year and marking the largest number of new graduate entrants to the UK labour market on record.

 Key findings

 The new figures show that the graduate jobs market has recovered from the recession.

 • The employment rate for new graduates had increased from 75.6% in January 2014 to 76.6% in January 2015.

 • Unemployment rates were down to levels last seen before the recession in 2008, falling a full percentage point to 6.3% (7.3%, 2014).

 • The number of graduates entering professional level jobs increased in both percentage and absolute terms. At 68.2%, the majority of working graduates were in professional-level employment (135,980).

 • The average graduate salary after six months stood at £20,637, a marginal rise on previous years.


What part does mind set play in employability?

Really interesting TED Talk on the importance of mindset at https://youtu.be/6mw9YRNj0I4

Would be keen to hear what you think about this. Is it all about mindset?