Centrica and Rosa: a partnership for female empowerment

The Centrica Women’s Network has joined forces with Rosa, the only UK-wide fund for women, to provide £40,000 in grants alongside their expertise to improve the lives of women across Britain.

Despite advances towards equality in recent decades, many women in Britain face acute social and economic challenges that inhibit them from achieving their full potential. At the same time, the women’s sector* is one of the most underfunded which makes tackling this enduring issue a significant struggle.

To overcome this challenge, the Centrica Women’s Network which aims to promote female career progression across Centrica has joined forces with Rosa, a charity that exists to overcome female inequality by channelling investment into the advancement of women.

A partnership for female empowerment

Together, we are proud to announce the creation of the Rosa Centrica Women’s Network Fund, which has recently awarded three organisations with grants that total £40,000to fund projects that help women with low self-esteem and aspirations in marginalised communities across the Thames Valley**.

The grant beneficiaries include social enterprise Mapis Project CIC alongside charities Startuponline Ltd and Work for Us, who support disadvantaged women such as ex-offenders and those not in employment, education or training (NEETs). Each project aims to educate, inspire and empower women by developing capabilities and leadership qualities through vocational, business and life skills training. This will give the women the skills they need to seek employment, gain financial independence and make better choices that will improve their future.

Fund creation through fundraising

The Fund was made possible through fundraising generated by the Centrica Women’s Network in support for their participation in the Arctic Relay Challenge. The physically demanding event took place during International Women’s Day in March 2014 and involved cross-country skiing, dog sledging and building shelters from snow. Central to the purpose of the Centrica Women’s Network, the challenge aimed to increase confidence, promote teamwork, expand professional networks and inspire women from across Centrica to take on big challenges and opportunities in their careers.

Rachel Callaghan, a member of the Centrica Women’s Network and British Gas’ Senior Counsel said: ‘We look forward to continuing to support local women and girls improve their life chances and by working with Rosa, we can ensure the funds we have raised and the expertise we will provide has the greatest impact by investing in organisations that make a meaningful difference. We also hope our actions will inspire even more women and men to support the empowerment of disadvantaged members of society through education’.

Maggie Baxter, Rosa’s Chair of Trustees also commented: ‘The Rosa Centrica Women’s Network Fund is a ground-breaking initiative. The Network have shown truly inspiring energy, enthusiasm and determination in raising money through their Arctic Challenge which has made this grant-making programme possible and such a success. Rosa are very excited about the potential this model of partnership offers to all sorts of women’s networks up and down the UK who want to provide essential support for women and girls’.



About the Centrica Women’s Network

The Centrica Women’s Network has been supporting female career progression across the business since its formation in 2010. The Network plays a key role in helping to drive Centrica’s gender diversity strategy, which aims to increase female representation at all levels across the business.

About Rosa

Founded in 2008, Rosa is the only UK-wide charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK. Their vision is of equality and justice for all females and they work to achieve this by raising, investing and influencing investment in women’s organisations to create real impact and lasting change. More information on Rosa is available here at the following link - http://www.rosauk.org/.

* The women’s sector relates to any not for profit organisation that specifically targets women’s issues.

** The organisations will focus their programmes in Slough, Reading, Oxford and Milton Keynes.