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Amazon IWDIn honour of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, Jenna, Alison, and Sharon from New College Durham planned two visits to Amazon this week to celebrate the achievements of women and to share their experiences as they have built their careers.

Jenna Allen, Higher Level Technical Skills Manager, discussed her career to date, and the impact of challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone.

Jenna said:

“International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of women and raise awareness of gender equality. Having spent the majority of my working life in the construction sector as a Highway Engineer, I am fortunate enough to have worked alongside extremely forward-thinking and supportive colleagues who have embraced the skills that I brought to the team. In my role at NCD, I now see it as my duty to promote careers in construction to young people and make sure they are aware of the fantastic opportunities available to them. I hope that young women on our courses can look to me as an example that if I can do it, they can do it too.”

Sharon Grant, Director of the North East Institute of Technology, talked about the route she has taken to get to where she is now, and link it to why she got into teaching chemistry and why she promoted STEM careers in an all girls’ school. Sharon is very enthusiastic about engaging women in engineering and construction by dispelling myths, and helping men to become allies, she said:

“Today is an excellent platform to continue to raise awareness of the need for increased equality for women and the ongoing work needed to address bias and gender blindness. Diversity is essential in the workplace to maximise business performance by enhancing creativity and problem solving as well as improving communication and teamwork skills. I am passionate about raising awareness of the amazing opportunities available to women in STEM, in the North East, through my role as Director of the NEIoT. It is an incredibly exciting time for this region with the large amount of investment in advanced manufacturing and engineering, and construction and the built environment. Raising awareness of and aspirations for all in these sectors, but especially women, is essential for continued growth and success.”

Alison Maynard, Deputy Principal, shared some uplifting achievements to honour women, she said:

“It was great to support Amazon in celebrating International Women’s Day. Tuesday was a feel-good day that got the employees at Amazon thinking about their challenges and setting new goals. We look forward to working with Amazon on different ventures in the future.”