You might be forgiven for thinking that our economy has fully recovered, especially with unemployment back to pre-recession levels, and the UK showing the strongest growth in Europe, surpassing all predictions. The view from many is that we're through the worst. But, the reality is different for many people, especially those who either have just left or are leaving school to compete for the limited number of jobs available.
We are lucky as women that in this day and age it isn't as hard as it used to be to make a strong stand in business and high posts... With regards to Luisa, some would say that she uses the title of businesswoman to be taken seriously but use still her sexuality to become popular. Is this really the right way to go?
With so much uncertainty, perhaps it is less surprising that just under one million young people remain out of employment, education or training. The research shows that the problem is not that young people aren't receptive to careers advice but that they haven't received enough of it. Young people are eager to find out more information on the full range of options open to them - both academic and vocational- as 20% of those polled wanted more information than they were currently getting. Research from the CBI and LifeSkills Youth Barometer reveals that 93% of young people are not getting the careers advice they need.
The sobs happened as we went through the process of finally selecting our real-life award winners. Cosmopolitan's Ultimate Women of the Year Awards are the only awards ceremony that recognise a mixture of famous faces and extraordinary women (and a few amazing men) away from the public eye who have made their mark over the last 12 months.
What we need is relatively simple: businesses to recognise that those under 25 could become a talent pool that will help them grow but they have an active role to play in helping them understand and then develop the skills that are needed. It could start with offering work experience, a traineeship or apprenticeship. What's important is realising this interaction will inspire a young person about what their future could hold and directly influence their success. Especially for the one in six who grow up in families where neither parent is employed.
The trick is, to not feel the pressure from all sides, but instead to accept that you can have it all as long as you have help. If giving up work to have children is what's important to you, then do it. If you don't want to give up work but do want to give your children enough of your time, then look at working part time or taking some time off before going back to work.
If we lose Elizabeth Fry from our five pound note, we are left with the Queen as our only female representative. Are we really unable to find a single historical female figure worthy of being commemorated? Maybe we just can't collectively remember women that have done great deeds. That certainly seems to have been the trouble in sport this month.
Women have so many things exclusively for their own gender: Women's Hour, a Women's Book Prize; the Top 100 Business Women, the Top 100 Powerful Women, Business Woman of the Year, the list goes on and on. I think it is time for the pink corner to recognise part of being British is our ability to poke fun at ourselves. That our differences make us interesting.
I would argue that too many businesses are reluctant to take the risk on a young person without any experience. Turned on its head, that small risk could actually be a life-changing opportunity to set a young person on course for a truly bright future. So, I think every business needs to consider whether they are doing enough to support young people in their communities to first gain work experience, and then to move into employment. We cannot expect schools or parents alone to support a young person into work. In my view, businesses are a vital part of the equation.