North West female business leaders have spoken of the pressures and challenges of working through lockdown – amid fears of the long-term impact on gender equality in the workplace.

Members of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) “Rising Stars” group of female executives have revealed in frank and honest testimonies their experiences of working through lockdown.  The Rising Stars are a network of female directors, executives and professionals from NWBLT companies who have been brought together to support and encourage the careers of women in a bid to increase the gender balance and representation at senior levels in workplaces across the north west.

In the report and interviews the group have spoken of their fears over the long term impact of the pandemic for working women – as well as the effect on gender equality in businesses across the UK.  The pressures of home-schooling, fears over the impending recession and concerns over company measurement of individual performance were all highlighted by members of the panel.  But the professionals have also highlighted some of the positives that can be gained from the unprecedented situation with home working and greater flexibility potentially a boost in the long term for women to advance their careers.

Joëlle Warren, Founder of Warren Partners and NWBLT Board member commented “The NWBLT has long recognised the importance of diversity at the top level of businesses in the North West.  Its “Rising Stars” group was set up to support the aim of increasing gender balance at senior leadership levels across all the members and was starting to have a positive impact.  Covid 19 has increased the challenges facing female executives, particularly those with young children, and we want to highlight this and encourage all businesses to consider the issues raised by this report”.

The NWBLT brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England. A unique regional entity, funded entirely by our members, we work to exert our collective influence for the long term good of the region, economically, environmentally, culturally and socially.