Apprenticeships, education & diversity

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we have asked the women in the office to write an article each. This is written by Mia Holder, who is currently doing her Level 3 Apprenticeship in Recruitment with Fram, and has been with us for 6 months. To read the other entries, please follow the links below:

Beate – Diversity, Gender & Financial Services
Kelly – Recruiting women in Financial Services
Chloe – Wonder Women in sales, where are you?

Why did you choose an apprenticeship instead of university?

An apprenticeship appealed to me mostly because of the ‘earn while you learn’ aspect; the idea of gaining a qualification and work experience at the same time was much more interesting to me than going to university. I had always planned on going to university but after learning more about apprenticeships I changed my mind; they offer you the opportunity to gain experience and industry knowledge that you couldn’t get from going to university. Also, a lot of companies, when looking to hire someone, would prefer for them to have some previous experience within the industry and by doing an apprenticeship I gain that experience, making me stand out above other potential candidates. Unfortunately, my school pushed more for people to chose university over apprenticeships, but after I spoke to others who had chosen to do an apprenticeship, the advantages outweighed those of going to university.

What made you choose recruitment for your apprenticeship?

When looking for an apprenticeship, I started off with no idea about what I wanted to do or what I was looking for; but after finding myself getting drawn towards ones involving customer service and other similar aspects I came across recruitment. I hadn’t considered it before but after doing a bit of research it definitely seemed like the right path for me to take; recruitment offers a lot of room for development and provides skills that are very useful for many other industries.

Do you feel women in your age group feel there is a glass ceiling?

From my personal experience I would say that women my age are definitely limited in the way that you may not get the same amount of support when applying for a role that is usually considered to be male-orientated. There is nothing stopping women from applying to these sort of jobs but I would say they do get ‘guided’ in a different direction. Having said that, in recent times it is definitely becoming more accepted for women to these types of careers and the stereotypes are becoming less of a thing; when looking for apprenticeships I considered engineering briefly and the companies loved the idea of a girl applying.

Would you say diversity is something your generation thinks about a lot?

Personally I would say no, diversity is very common now and I would say that my generation don’t consciously think about it in the way that people used to. Obviously everyone is different and some people think about it and are bothered by it more than others but in general I don’t think it’s too much of a big deal. Diversity is everywhere and in my generation I believe it is accepted by a large majority without really even thinking about it.

Do you think girls are drawn to certain subjects in school over others? Do you think schools provide enough guidance when students choose subjects?

Diversity - financial services - Woman's Day - Fram SearchI suppose this partially depends on the school, I can only speak from my experience and I would say partly yes; some subjects, psychology for example, are seen as ‘girls’ subjects’ and others definitely have a higher percentage of boys than girls. However, girls aren’t shunned for going against these stereotypes and choosing subjects that wouldn’t be expected of them.

I think if students seek guidance, then they can find it, but it is not openly given and some students may struggle with this, I know I did.

What does equality mean to you?

To me equality means the simplest definition of the word, everyone is equal. I would never treat anyone differently because of specific characteristics and I like to think no one would ever do that to me or anyone else.

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