The Open University (OU) Sponsor Womenspire 2020

23rd March 2020

Tell us about your organisation

The Open University (OU) was established in 1969 and is a world-leader in providing innovative and flexible distance learning opportunities at higher education level. It is open to people, places, methods and ideas. It promotes educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Over 10,000 students across Wales are currently studying with The Open University. There are OU students in every Senedd constituency and we are the nation’s leading provider of undergraduate part-time higher education. Almost three out of four Open University students are in employment while they study and with an open admissions policy, no qualifications are necessary to study at degree level. Over a third of our undergraduate students in Wales join us without standard university entry level qualifications.

Why are you supporting the awards?

We are proud to be supporting Chwarae Teg’s Womenspire awards because women in Wales deserve celebration. As a university, we are a movement for social change, and there are few social changes as important as securing gender equality. Supporting these awards is a small part of our commitment to playing our part in that.

We are particularly pleased to be a Community Tickets sponsor for this year’s Womenspire awards. The Open University was founded specifically to open up education to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn at a higher level, and we are proud to still be reaching a large number of students from some of our poorest communities.

It’s especially important to us that all women in Wales – no matter where they’re from, where they live, or what their socioeconomic background – are able to benefit from the same opportunities as everyone in Wales, whether through education or through initiatives like Womenspire.

Why does gender equality matter to you?

Gender equality matters to us not only because it is self-evidently right, but also because it is absolutely crucial to building the kind of world we want to see: one where everyone can realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

When women are unable to benefit from the same opportunities as other people, our whole society is poorer. When women aren’t able to access the same level of learning, when they aren’t able to get the same job opportunities or when they’re not paid fairly, and when women aren’t safe, not only does it affect them and their lives, but it affects all of our communities.

Ensuring that women are able to access learning, and higher education in particular, throughout their lives is incredibly valuable to individual women, but as a happy by-product, it is also benefits everyone else.

Why do you support the work of Chwarae Teg?

We are exceptionally proud of our continued association with Chwarae Teg as a FairPlay employer.

The Open University’s vision is to reach more students with life-changing learning that meets their needs and enriches society. Our vision complements that of Chwarae Teg: a Wales where every woman and girl is treated equally, is able to fully participate in the economy, and public and political life, and live safe from violence and fear.

In addition, Chwarae Teg’s mission of ensuring that women in Wales can enter the workplace, develop their skills and build rewarding careers depends on opportunities to learn and develop, to upskill and reskill, throughout their lives are open to all women in Wales. As a university, and as a movement for social change, we are proud to play our part in making that happen and to support to invaluable work of Chwarae Teg.