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RSA event celebrates female role models

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4:38pm 8th March 2018
(Updated 4:47pm 8th March 2018)

Yesterday, RSA’s Sunderland office hosted an event to celebrate International Women’s Day (today) which brought together inspirational women to discuss female role models and how successful women can excel in typically male-dominated fields.  

RSA’s offices in Sunderland, where women make up 74% of the workforce, are home to its consumer facing brand, More Th>n insurance. 

The event welcomed Lucy Staniforth, Captain of the Sunderland AFC Ladies Team and Head Coach Melanie Copeland, alongside Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Doris McKnight and RSA’s Customer Service Director Tovah Grosscurth to discuss their personal perspectives of succeeding in traditionally male environments. 

Panel moderator, RSA’s Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Lynn O’Connor, opened the event by noting that International Women’s Day is now more than a hundred years old and while a great deal of progress has been made for women’s equality in that time, there is still an opportunity to continue promoting diversity in the workplace. 

Speakers considered the impact of string female role models, and the benefits of mentoring and female sponsorship.

They also covered the importance of male buy-in and men as agents for change in building an inclusive culture to benefit all.


Lynn O’Connor said:

“Today’s discussion shows that things are changing. Where once careers in sports and public service were seen as traditionally male, our speakers have shed light on the ways we can foster female talent, and encourage women and girls to succeed in any career path.

"After all, innumerate studies have shown that companies with diverse workforces are more likely to succeed. At RSA we are building an inclusive and diverse culture where talented individuals feel welcome and included.”


Commenting on the event the Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Doris McKnight said:

“The More Th>n presence in Sunderland is an important part of our thriving contact centre sector. I’m delighted that the company is showing how important equality of opportunity and career progression are with this International Women’s Day event. 

"We have many amazing women in our city, some with high profile careers, and this event shines a light on their achievements. 

“The panel event is to be applauded, as are the contributions of many thousands of women across the region who are helping our city grow and succeed through their talent and commitment.”


Melanie Copeland, Sunderland Ladies’ Football Manager added:

“We really enjoyed being on the panel, sharing and listening to stories about the journey of our careers and the barriers that we have had to overcome and inspired us to follow our dreams.”



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