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News > The Old Reptonian Society > Female Survey Results

Female Survey Results

Female OR survey results
The survey was conducted with all the female ORs for whom email addresses were available (926 women).  97 bounces were received, thus there were 829 valid email addresses. 
112 responses were received from the mailshot, giving a response rate of 13.5%.  Typically surveys to an ‘external’ (i.e. non-employee) audience could be expected to have a 10-15% response rate, so the response received is in line with this.
Details of the survey responses are below.
  • 73% of respondents have been back to the school at some point since leaving, with the events attended largely being Drinks in the City/Birmingham, a Gaudy, House reunions or the OR Dinner.
  • Respondents drew out the following as being particularly enjoyable:
    • Seeing old friends/teachers
    • Seeing how the school has changed and developed since leaving
  • Of those who had not been back to Repton the reasons cited were varied, but the top reasons given were
    • Location (too much based in London)
    • Timing – mid-week is not popular
    • A feeling that the events caters for ‘older old boys’.
    • Cost
    • Lack of time
    • “I find these daunting with the majority of attendees being men and it feels as though they’re a chance for people to show off”
    • “I was only there for two years in the 6th form so I don’t feel so much affinity for Repton as for my other school where I was for five years”
  • We asked what sort of events might draw people back and gave a variety of responses.  The top five responses were:
    • Social events – 65%
    • Mixed gender events – 63%
    • Professional events – 47%
    • Sports events – 34%
    • Women only events – 33%
    • 34% of respondents wanted to see a broad mix of event types.
    • 23% wanted to see music based events.
  • We asked what specifically prevented people from attending events.  Again, the reasons cited were highly varied, but those cited repeatedly were:
    • Time, location, cost
    • The age range and gender mix of attendees not being known, e.g. not wanting to be the only 30 year old woman in a room full of older men!
    • A lack of events targeted at more recent leavers
    • A lack of events targeted at women
    • A perception that events are for older men and/or sport oriented
    • A lack of information about or visibility of the events available
    • Events are too formal and an opportunity for career success to be ‘shown off’.
  • We asked if there was anything that could persuade people to attend.
    • More notice (see comment on visibility of events)
    • Knowing who else is going to be there e.g. a database of attendees available to review
    • Less formal events
    • Subsidising attendance for under 35s
    • Providing more travel support e.g. shuttle bus from a local station, details of places to stay, taxi companies etc.
    • Holding events in locations other than London or Repton
    • Giving events a higher profile on social media/email reminders etc.
    • Professional/charity events
    • “Feeling that women and women’s views/perspectives are valued in the OR Society, not being patronised by old white men”
    • Having a compelling speaker at an event
    • Not holding events mid-week
  • 93% of respondents have kept in touch with friends from Repton.  Just over 50% are in touch with 10 or fewer people, 36% are in touch with 5 or fewer. 
  • We asked about MyRepton and registration.  67% are NOT registered on MyRepton
  • The overwhelming response from those not registered as to why was that they had never heard of it or had no idea what it was for if they had.
  • 83% of respondents read The Arch regularly
  • Whilst most of those who read The Arch like it, the following are representative comments on the content:
    • It’s more relevant to older ORs
    • They like seeing the personal news (births, marriages, news of the different year groups etc) and seeing school news
    • There’s too much focus on sport and they would like to see a more holistic feel to it
    • There is an appetite for professional profiles, support to network etc
    • They would like to see events more prominent e.g. providing a list of dates, booking details etc for events over the next 12 months.
    • The content feels lacking in dynamism
    • They’d like to see information on how to contribute
    • They would like to see more features on women, articles written by women and pictures of women at events (see earlier comment re events being male focused!)
  • 78% of respondents have never submitted anything to The Arch for publication.  A couple of respondents commented that they had sent things in e.g. wedding pictures, but that these had not been featured, but generally the feeling was that
    • They don’t know how to submit articles
    • There is no real idea of what’s relevant
    • There is a very strong feeling that the respondents don’t have anything to share that would interest others
    • One respondent commented that she felt that it was very focussed on those with high achievements in their careers, and as a full time mother for the past 25 years it makes her feel as though she’s not got anything of relevance or interest to contribute.
  • We asked whether respondents had ever contacted the society and not received a response.  6.2% of respondents said that this had happened to them.
  • We asked about gender representation. 58% of respondents don’t feel that women are adequately represented in The Arch or the OR Society.  78% of respondents said that they would be willing to support the society in efforts to ensure that both become more representative.
  • Other general comments:
    • Please take into account 6th form entry for gaudy dates (it is assumed that this relates to those who were only there in 6th form where they have been invited to gaudies because of start dates but the boys who they would have known are not included in this).
    • Several commented that the society is doing a great job.
    • When some left Repton there was a presentation about OR Society followed immediately by a pitch for East India Club.  There was no mention until a question was asked at the end that this was only available to men, with a special discount for ORs.  This left a very poor impression on the female ORs, leaving them feeling sidelined.  The commenter said that she thinks the OR Society likely suffers from having men only sub-branches like the Masons and all the sporting activities.
    • How about a few interviews with current staff and pupils to get a feel for what life is like at Repton? You could ask the same questions to leavers which might make interesting reading.
    • Women OR sports events would be great
    • The international network really needs boosting too. So many ORs live overseas now or travel for work regularly - having up to date contacts and regional events would be really great
    • The stereotype of the events is that it’s always the same people that go and it’s cliquey - as someone that is only connected with a handful of Repton peers, the concern is turning up to a room of older men drinking whiskey!  This is probably completely inaccurate, but without more visibility on what an event is like, who goes, and what to expect, I think you’ll struggle to diversify them and it’ll become a self-perpetuating stereotype.
    • I think this survey is a great step forward.
    • When I was at Repton, the school was extremely male dominated. Although more girls are now enrolled, I still get the impression the high proportion of OR societies tend to lean towards the gentleman's club image. Maybe this is as a result having grown up with this image from my schooling years.
    • Jan is lovely and she was very helpful during our correspondence before I left for Australia re Repton contacts out there. I found this very useful.
    • A lot of the events are in London, for people not living in London attending these can be very costly
  • In terms of year groups, we asked respondents to tell us which year they started at Repton.  Not all respondents provided this information and the breakdown is as follows:
    • 1970s – 6
    • 1980s – 9
    • 1990s – 19
    • 2000s – 54
    • 2010s – 22
    • The majority of respondents were younger ORs.
  • We asked respondents to provide information on the roles they now have.  Again, not all provided this information but there is a huge breadth of knowledge and experience represented here that we can tap into.  An exhaustive list isn’t possible here, but examples of some of the roles listed are:
    • Hoping to retire!
    • Reader at the University of Cambridge
    • Director of my own consulting company
    • General Manager at Mars
    • Credit specialist
    • Travelling and volunteering
    • Chartered accountant and magistrate
    • Clinical trial manager
    • Founder of an online career development company
    • Development Executive (Fundraising Team) at Radley College
    • Running our own engineering/exhaust manufacturing company plus full time mum
    • Wife, mother, full time employment living on a small holding
    • Working as Senior Finance Advisor to SMEs in the South West and mother to 3 lovely children
    • GP
    • Specialist nurse
    • I have recently launched a new music business and am involved with the organisation of Bournemouth Symphony Youth and Children's Chorus'
    • Writer
    • managing fundraising and marketing for a music charity, and married to an old Harrovian, though right now I'm on maternity leave!
    • I am a commissioner for the NHS and design health services
    • I'm a lecturer at Nottingham Trent university
    • About to set up my own business in interior design and furniture production
    • Sustainability Manager
    • I am currently working as a Structural Enegineering Consultant, as well as being a Reserve Army Officer with the Royal Engineers
    • Helicopter Pilot
  • We offered a prize of a £100 Jo Malone voucher as an incentive to complete the survey.  Respondents who provided an email address were entered into a draw and the winner was picked by Nick Walford at random.  The winner was Leta Bernhoeft.

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