#ChooseToChallenge this International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and in the spirit of this IWD, our Impact Coordinator Rawan will be writing about all the ways we work to eradicate gender disparity both in our work and personal lives here at the Tutor Trust.

As a charity that works to minimise the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, we’re always trying to make sure we keep our definition of disadvantage as broad as possible. We want to consider all the social barriers that keep children from reaching their full potential in the classroom, and ensure that our tuition is a space where they feel empowered in their learning. This is, of course, inclusive of gender, which is still a major factor in pupils’ confidence in a classroom. From the attainment gap between male and female pupils in subjects such as Maths and Science, to sexist comments that female pupils receive from their male peers, gender disparity is still prevalent in education, despite the staggering progress that’s been made in recent years.

As such, we feel it important to make sure we’re doing everything we can to work against these statistics. We’ve done a lot of work to ensure that we provide our tutors with training resources that detail how to make sure their teaching materials are gender inclusive. Additionally, we’ve also added safeguarding policies that give tutors a framework for how to handle sexist or intolerant comments during lessons. You can read our safeguarding policy here.

Today is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the hard work and historical lineage of the trail-blazing women who came before us. It is important, however, that these sentiments are not dusted off once a year, but are part of our everyday conversations year round. As such, here’s just some of the ways our staff aim to minimise the effects of gender disparity in their day-to-day work:

"I choose to challenge by listening carefully to the voices of women and non-binary people from all backgrounds, and continuing to educate myself on issues which affect women and LGBTQ+ people in my local community." – Skye Demar, Manchester Primary Schools Coordinator

"I choose to address gender inequality in my Maths tuition by introducing some female mathematicians who have made important contributions to world developments such as Katherine Johnson's work in NASA which contributed to the USA's aeronautics.” – James Brewer, Tutor and Brand Ambassador

"I try to challenge harmful gender norms and stereotypes at home with my two daughters. I want them to know the ways in which some systems can work to prevent them from achieving their full potential so that they can be empowered to stand up for themselves." – Vicky Sadler, Quality Manager, Primary

These actions are simple ways to have a big impact on how we think of women and gender as a whole in both our work and personal lives. Small, daily changes such as this help make a world of difference, and help us be more open and accepting. Look out for our social media posts today to see more of the Tutor Trust team’s ways of challenging gender disparity in the workplace this International Women’s Day.