Inspirational women mark International Women’s Day in Sunderland

Pictured with the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, centre, with from left to right, Melanie Copeland, Lynn O'Connor, Tovah Grosscurth and Lucy Staniforth.
Pictured with the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, centre, with from left to right, Melanie Copeland, Lynn O'Connor, Tovah Grosscurth and Lucy Staniforth.

Female role models in Sunderland have been celebrated after the city marked International Women’s Day.

Four women excelling in their professions spoke about inspirational females and how successful women can excel in typically male-dominated fields.

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

Melanie Copeland

The event was held at RSA Group’s Sunderland office, in Grayling Court, which is home to its consumer facing brand, MoreTh>n insurance.

Women make up 74% of the workforce at the RSA Group office.

Speaking at the event were Sunderland AFC Ladies captain Lucy Staniforth, SAFC Ladies head coach Melanie Copeland, the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight and RSA’s customer service director Tovah Grosscurth.

Lynn O’Connor, panel moderator and RSA’s head of diversity and inclusion, said: “The discussion shows that things are changing.

“Where once careers in sports and public service were seen as traditionally male, our speakers shed light on the ways we can foster female talent, and encourage women and girls to succeed in any career path.

Coun McKnight said: “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.”

SAFC Ladies manager Melanie Copeland said: “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.”