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Manchester High School for Girls


They may look like pensioners, but underneath the expertly applied make-up these three women are teenagers from Manchester High School for Girls. The A-level students were transformed by a professional make-up artist to highlight gender inequality for International Women’s Day (8th March 2017).

The all important 'before' shot! What Sixth Formers, Nisa, Emily and Isbobel usually look like.

The girls are about to go to top universities, yet according to a recent statistic, if they retired at the age of 65, they would still be paid less than their male counterparts. In fact, according to a report from the World Economic Forum, the gender gap will not close entirely until 2186.


Regardless of this stark prediction, Isobel Howard and Nisa Hasan, both with Oxbridge offers, and straight A student, Emily Stewart, are ready to set the world on fire and break through the glass ceiling.


Isobel (18) from Worsley, who plans to be a genetic researcher, commented:

“All the girls here work so hard to achieve their aims and dreams; they should be rewarded in exactly the same way as any man. I find the prospect of working for 47 years and still not earning the same as a man grossly unfair. It’s up to women like us to change things and today is a day to celebrate that.”

Emily's disbelief; not only at her 65-year-old self but at the shocking statistics regarding gender parity.

Emily (18) from Prestbury aspires to be chief executive of the Food Standards Agency. She said: “At this school we are inspired by former pupils the Pankhurst sisters, who fought for equality. We need to take on the work they started to make sure our generation is treated fairly in the workplace and in society.”


17-year-old, Nisa Hasan from Hale Barns, said:

“Seeing this report in full and then being made to look older has really brought home to me just how shocking it is that women will continue to suffer inequality for many years to come.


“It was really strange seeing how I might look in the future; hopefully having retired from a successful career as an economic advisor. I don’t think my future work should be undermined by the fact that I am a female. I hope that what we have done today can play a part in changing the situation and raise awareness of gender disparity.”


Nisa's transformation was to mark this year's International Women's Day.

Claire Hewitt, Head Mistress of Manchester High School for Girls, commented:

“This school has a reputation for turning out the leaders of tomorrow; from the Pankhurst sisters, to the likes of Clara Freeman, first female executive director of Marks and Spencer, to Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president of Facebook EMEA.

“Our Students are used to challenging traditional gender stereotypes but we look forward to the day when they don’t have to.”