The FWD has reallocated 50% of its training bursary fund specifically for women as part of an initiative to address gender inequality in wholesale.
At the inaugural Women in Wholesale conference, the FWD announced its Fellowship Fund, which awards individuals with grants for skills training, will hold half of the funding exclusively for female applicants until 2018. It wants to encourage more women to apply for the award.
Over the next two years, if there are not enough female applicants, the FWD will hold on to the funding for the following year.
With the new approach, the FWD hopes to reach a 50/50 balance in the number of awards given to men and women by 2018.
“In 2016, FWD’s Fellowship Fund has awarded £22,000 in grants for individuals’ skills training and professional development,” said a FWD spokesman.
“Forty per cent of the awards so far have gone to women, and we want to raise that to 50% by 2018. Through our members, we are encouraging women in wholesale to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in their talent and build a successful and rewarding career in our sector.”
Grants are awarded on the basis of matched funding by the employer or individual, with a maximum award of £2,500. Application forms can be obtained via firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s an unbelievably exciting time to be a woman working in wholesale and a woman working in any industry for that matter. Our speakers provided delegates with some inspiring, actionable advice. The next step is to produce a Women in Wholesale report, which will give businesses solid goals to benchmark against,” said Women in Wholesale event organiser Elit Rowland.