Happy International Women’s Day guys! It also happens to be National Apprenticeship Week so this week’s blog post contains both, given that Love Middlesbrough Lass Emma (Hi!) is both a woman and an apprentice.

I think apprenticeships are all about empowering people to take hold of their own futures, so being a female apprentice I feel super lucky to have been born in a time where I can control my own future with no one else telling me how to live my life.

There’s a lot of stigma around being a woman in tech, but luckily for me I was pushed into a STEM career from my school, who saw my potential and worked with me on it – yay for after school clubs!🎆  I then found my role here in the Love Middlesbrough Office, creating blogs and Instagram posts and all the good stuff you guys see all the time, as well as so much more behind the scenes stuff. I genuinely feel empowered whilst surrounded by knowledgeable women willing to encourage me into doing what I love and help me out. I’m genuinely welling up whilst writing this because I couldn’t have asked for a better team – and I never thought I’d be coming down this route. As a fellow woman, I will always tell you to do what you want, it doesn’t matter if it’s hairdressing or construction, fashion or maths, it’s your future, do what you want with it.

Not only is there stigma around women in tech, but there’s also stigma around apprenticeships. A lot of people still think apprenticeships are for people who aren’t clever enough for college, or that they’re just in construction. This is so utterly wrong. I’m surrounded by some very smart people in the training centre, and none of them are on construction courses. I’ve seen so many different apprenticeship courses out there that I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a course that doesn’t lead where you want to go. I’m not saying apprenticeships are the way for everyone, I know people who succeeded in apprenticeships, university, and I even know a guy who has his own business and is in university (wow!), but an apprenticeship is always something to think about – I had it ruled out at first and girl… wasn’t that a mistake?

Let’s pop back to IWD for a minute and talk about the most inspirational women in my life. There’s four here, in no particular order. The first two are of course the other two Lasses. Claire is practically a social media goddess and has taught me so much in the 12 months I’ve been here, also, she’s a total Girl Boss, take notes! Rach is the best photographer here I think and can take pretty much anything, at least that I’ve seen. Plus, if something needs doing, she gets it done; a total Girl Boss! Third is my sister. She’s been through so much in her life and still had the time to support me with whatever I was going through – break-ups, exam stress, more break-ups, a complete change in life course – whatever it was, she was there for me, even if she was in a different city. Total Girl Boss! The last is of course, my mother. Raised three kids, had a business of her own, the best baker ever and is also changing her life course and starting new things even after her youngest child has become an adult. If anyone takes charge of her own life, it’s my mother and I am always immensely proud of her. TOTAL GIRL BOSS!!

Lasses at Christmas!