Maxima Grupė, which owns retail chains in the Baltics, Poland and Bulgaria, is launching a competition for girls in the final years of school who dream of a successful career and want to get leadership knowledge and skills at the Go Forward Academy. This first leadership academy of its kind in Lithuania is dedicated to helping school-age girls discover their talents, develop skills and learn from outstanding professionals.
This year Maxima Grupė will provide 20 scholarships to motivated girls from needy families. The Maxima Grupė class of leaders will begin their studies in the three-month programme in April.
“There are still a lot of stereotypes in society about women and professions. They create artificial barriers to careers that can open many opportunities for women themselves and also contribute to increased welfare in Lithuania. Many of these stereotypes set in at school or even earlier. We want to support the Go Forward Academy in its goal of changing this situation and inspire girls throughout Lithuania to choose their professional paths freely and boldly, without forcing themselves into any preconceived boxes,” says Dalius Misiūnas, the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Maxima Grupė.
According to Statistics Lithuania, girls in the country less often choose to study science. Statistics on the balance of men and women in bachelor programmes in the 2017-2018 academic year show women dominate in the arts and humanities, but much more rarely go in for scientific or technical fields. As an example, among students in information technology and communications bachelor programmes, 13.3% are women while 86.7% are men.
A study published at the end of last year by the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre showed that children from needy families are only half as likely to pursue a higher education as those from other families.
“It’s really important that Maxima Grupė is giving scholarships precisely to girls who want to grow and acquire more knowledge but can’t afford it. These courses and just being there in a community of leaders could turn into an ideal trampoline for their future careers and success,” says Jurga Tapinienė, the founder of the Go Forward Academy.
Statistics show the gender pay gap in Lithuania is about 14% and has not decreased in recent years.
The objective of the Go Forward Academy is to gather school-age girls into a community where they can broaden their knowledge, establish relationships that will be useful down the road, and boldly plan their future careers. The Academy’s lecturers are professionals in the fields of creative writing, public speaking, management, and marketing.
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