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Lioness Alex Greenwood speaks out for IWD

ACCORDING to new research by the UK's leading pub company and brewer, Greene King, more Brits than ever before are supporting female sports, thanks to England's Lionesses' 2022 Euros triumph.

The research, which was commissioned to mark International Women's Day, showed that 58% of us now follow a woman's sports team following last year's Euros success.

The research also revealed that 76% of the nation believe awareness for women's sport has improved, but 66% still believe that this is lacking in comparison to male teams.

48% of us are now more inclined to watch women's sport in the local pub, citing the Lionesses' success as the main reason for this, with other reasons including:- better atmosphere (50%) and that they enjoy watching with family and friends (43%).

33% now watch women's sport at their local pub more than once a month, with 20% saying this has increased over the last 12 months. And it seems pubs are taking note of demand for women's sport, with 42% saying their local pubs are now showing more women's sport than ever before, but just 26% believe their local pubs are showing enough women's sports.

Ahead of International Women's Day, Greene King has announced its continued commitment to ensuring women's sport gets the airtime it deserves, pledging to show all the games in the Women's Super League for the 2023 season across many of its City Centre pubs.

To raise awareness of women's sport fixtures across its venues, Greene King is working with professional footballer and Lioness Alex Greenwood.

Alex said:- "It's great to see that respect and support for women's sport is improving, I believe there is still work to be done on this. Broadcasting more women's sports matches in public places will help us sustain the momentum and continue this improvement. This is why I'm delighted to be partnering with Greene King once more to help raise awareness of their continued support for women's sport."

Amanda Royston, Marketing Director at Greene King, said:- "Pubs are the original social network; offering people a chance to relax, unwind and socialise with friends. We want our pubs to be safe and welcoming spaces for all people, and this is why we're committed to inclusivity not just on International Women's Day, but every day. It's clear from our research that people believe pubs have an important role to play in improving awareness and support for women's sport, which is why we've committed to showing all the games in the Women's Super League for the 2023 season across many of our City Centre pubs."

It appears that confidence in the Lionesses' abilities is also at an all time high, with 78% of Brits believe the Lionesses will take home the silverware at this year's Women's World Cup.

Southport manufacturers urged to sign up to free, fast track digital leadership programme

MADE Smarter has launched a new fast track leadership programme to help Southport SME manufacturers accelerate their digital transformation.

In just 3 months, the:- 'Leading Digital Transformation' programme will turn participants into digitally informed, empowered leaders, armed with a bespoke digitalisation strategy.

The funded solution has been designed by Made Smarter's North West Adoption Programme, the Government-funded industry-led initiative to increase technology adoption among SME manufacturers, and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

It will be delivered through a blend of face to face workshops, online webinars, case studies and site visits to smart factories, including Print City, MMU's 3D additive and digital manufacturing hub, where participants will see technology in action.

Heading up the programme is Dr Ann Mulhaney, Senior Enterprise Fellow for the Centre for Enterprise at MMU, an expert in organisational transformation, strategy and innovation, leading change and employee engagement.

Leaders will walk away with a set of practical tools, a strategy for digital transformation and an offer to access further support from Made Smarter, including funding for new technology.

The new programme is available by application to manufacturing businesses with less than 250 employees, a turnover less than £36M or balance sheet less than £18M, and a significant part of their operations based in the North West.

With places limited, it builds on the success of Made Smarter's trailblazing leadership initiative which launched in 2019 and went on to equip 60 business leaders with the vision and the skills to pursue smarter manufacturing.

Donna Edwards, Director of Made Smarter's North West Adoption Programme, said:- "Manufacturing leaders have endured an incredibly difficult few years, steering a course through the pandemic and facing up to new challenges such as rising energy prices, supply chain disruption and labour shortages. Technology and a digital strategy is important for SME leaders so they are better equipped to deal with current and forthcoming challenges and opportunities. The Made Smarter leadership programme was the 1st of its kind and developed a generation of digital leaders. We are confident that our new fast-track, funded Leading Digital Transformation programme will have an even greater impact, supporting a new generation of leaders to make the most of opportunities that digital transformation can offer."

Ruth Hailwood, Made Smarter's Organisation and Workforce Development Specialist Adviser, said:- "After 4 years with our finger on the pulse of manufacturing, Made Smarter understands what SME leaders want and need. This programme focuses on strategy and how to identify critical priorities for taking a business forward, as well as highlighting where digital tools can help. It examines the business from the top floor to the shop floor, capturing real perspectives about their readiness for digital transformation. It has been designed to be flexible for manufacturing leaders to fit around their busy schedules, allowing them to take time out of their business to reflect on the bigger picture and share ideas, experiences and opportunities with their peers in manufacturing."

Mandy Parkinson, Director of Centre for Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University, said:- "MMU is delighted to collaborate with Made Smarter on this new leadership programme which will provide fast, focused support to business leaders at such a critical time. Since 2015, we have supported more than 2,000 SMEs in areas including growth, innovation and resilience and we are looking forward to seeing the difference our range of expertise will make to more businesses across the Region."

Registration to join the programme, which starts on:- 30 March 2023, and is now open to sign up! For more details on the visit:- MadeSmarter.UK

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