Words for Work: Women in Leadership

secondary girls and teacher

Words for Work: Women in Leadership helps girls and young women develop the literacy skills, leadership abilities and confidence they need to achieve their potential.

About the programme

Women in Leadership artwork smaller

Our Words for Work: Women in Leadership programme, in partnership with Lancôme, aims to challenge inequalities in employment opportunities for young women in post-16 education.

We deliver a series of interventions to promote workplace literacy, including teacher-led workshops in schools, a day at Lancôme and a panel event with inspiring women in leadership positions.

The programme is currently being run in schools and colleges across London, Manchester, Nottingham and Dublin. If you would like to get involved with Words for Work: Women in Leadership in the future, please email us.

Our Women in Leadership online panel events will be a national offer to schools across the UK and Ireland this academic year. To join the next event please visit Events

"It made me feel like I could accomplish anything and made me excited for the future." - Words for Work: Women in Leadership student


Recent evaluation has shown that after taking part in Words for Work: Women in Leadership:

  • 97% of young women know how to communicate in the workplace and give a speech
  • 96% of young women feel more prepared to enter employment
  • 80% of young women have a better understanding of what may be expected of them in a job interview
  • 100% of teachers said the programme raised students’ aspirations
Read the full Words for Work: Women in Leadership evaluation summary 2018/19


Young people who leave school with poor literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed as adults. Research shows that this negative impact is twice as large for women than for men. And the inequalities don’t stop there.

  • The negative effect of poor literacy skills on employability is twice as large for women than for men.
  • 64% of young women believe they won’t have the same chances to be successful in their future jobs as men.
  • Women in the UK are three times less likely to hold director-level roles than men (26% vs 74%).
  • At every level of education, women need to earn one additional degree in order reach average salaries in line with men’s averages.