United Kingdom

Jaguar Land Rover bans boys from work experience sessions and invites girls and 'non-binary' pupils

Parents have slammed Jaguar Land Rover for offering work experience sessions to girls and non-binary pupils only. 

The motoring giant has excluded boys from the two-week virtual classes for secondary school children aged 10-13.

The female and non-binary work experience programme is set to coincide with International Women's Day on 8 March. 

But parents have been left unimpressed by the initiative, with one branding it 'downright discrimination.' 

The female and non-binary work experience programme is set to coincide with International Women's Day on 8 March. Pictured, the company's work experience advert

Carr Hill High School in Kirkham, Lancashire, told parents the sessions were only open to female or non-binary students 

Parents have been left unimpressed by the initiative, with one branding it 'downright discrimination.'

Hundreds of schools across the UK were sent the invites last week for the design, technology, engineering and manufacturing sessions which start next Monday.

One parent of a child at Carr Hill High School in Kirkham, Lancashire, said: 'The schools emailed about an opportunity to do some project work with Jaguar Land Rover.

'This was quickly curtailed by a correction email stating JLR were only interested in girls and non-binary pupils. 

'This is downright discrimination. If it stated 'males only' there would be outrage. I'm still in a state of shock at how bad this stance is. My lad was really looking forward to it too.'

Other parents took to social media to express disappointment.  

Diane Wills said: 'I feel this is not supporting equal opportunities and is very gender specific. It should be equal to ALL but to say female only is unfair.

Sarah Rhodes added: 'It's great that these opportunities are available. But unfortunately this is a clear case of positive discrimination.' 

In an email, the school said: 'Please be aware that the Jaguar Land Rover work experience is only currently open to girls and non-binary.

'This was not made clear by the company, please accept my apologies for sending this opportunity out to all students.' 

The work experience invite reads: 'Only 11 per cent of engineers in the UK automotive industry are female.

'Jaguar Land Rover is tackling the attitude that engineering is a male-dominated industry head-on by inspiring more young people to explore the next generation of exciting career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths.  

'To apply for this programme you must identify as female or non-binary, attend a school or college in the UK and be in years 10-13.'

In an email, the school said: 'Please be aware that the Jaguar Land Rover work experience is only currently open to girls and non-binary'

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman said: 'Our work experience programme for female and non-binary students is just one of a number of opportunities offered by Jaguar Land Rover as part of our broader education activities.

'We normally offer two work experience programmes which are open to all students, providing they meet entry criteria such as home location, academic grades and age.

'Whilst the broader education activities were placed on hold during Covid-19, we are now in a position to restart those.

'The female/non-binary work experience programme will be the first, timed to align with International Women's Day on 8 March.

'Other programmes, as outlined above, will follow over the coming months.

'Around 500 students participate in a work experience placement with Jaguar Land Rover each year.

'Jaguar Land Rover is committed to recruiting from the widest pool of talent. It is key to our future productivity and performance.

'Through our broader education programme of activities we offer opportunities to all young people, regardless of gender, or any other identifier, to engage with our organisation and explore the variety of career opportunities available in automotive engineering, manufacturing and design.'

In October last year, Jaguar Land Rover gender-fluid engineer Rose Taylor was awarded £180,000 in a discrimination case after being bullied.  

An employment tribunal heard how she suffered insults and abusive jokes at the hands of cruel co-workers after she started wearing women's clothes.

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