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83www.networkshe.comSay Sheffield and for many the image of a dark, dusty and noisy industrial city springs to mind. Whilst the city is much brighter today, it still thrives on its industry and is proud of its part in history. Sheffield is still the home of steel and manufacturing, and as such is often celebrating this. The city has chosen a statue to proudly stand at the gateway to the city on the M1, there are plans for steel sculptures in the city centre, events celebrating this heritage often take place, and as a visitor to the city, the first thing you see when exiting the station is a sweeping steel water feature. There are many stories from those born and bred in the Steel City, and the Inspiring Women Forum (part of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce) were pleased to create an event to look at this important part of the South Yorkshire city. Joined by steel workers past and present, the audience were left inspired. Elinor Oldroyd General Manager at Firth Rixson Metals Ltd, a world leading provider of Seamless Rolled Rings, Metal Forgings and speciality metals spoke of her commitment to the industry and her initial struggle to be recognised in what is still a male dominated industry. We were also delighted to hear on behalf of one lady who worked in the steel mills during the war. She talked of the hard, back breaking work that the women had to endure. She recalled how one lady in the factory gave birth to her first child, and returned to work just days later. Due to the essential work that these women were doing, though terrified, they continued to work during air raids often watching dog fights in the sky above. Their hard work, long hours and commitment went mainly unrecognised as after the war years, the men returned to their jobs and women were dismissed, and expected to return to their pre-war lives. After over 60 years, the four of the 'women of steel' from Sheffield petitioned Downing Street where they were finally officially recognised for their hard work. These women fought their own kind of fight in the war years, and the City of Sheffield have decided to recognise their hard work by commissioning a 'Women of Steel' statue following their visit to Westminster. The figurative memorial statue will have pride of place in the City centre, showing that their war efforts will never be forgotten.Women of STEELThe women of Sheffield show their mettleSheffield Hallam University

You've heard of have-it-all mums, well I'm a have-it-all dad.In the evenings I work, but for most of the day I'm at home being a dad and, you might even say, house husband. When we first found out we were expecting Jack, the first thing I did was ask my boss if I could carry on working evenings. The plan was that I'd be at home with the baby and my wife Sara could go back to work full time. It's saved us a fortune in childcare, and cost me a lifetime in sleep!Every parent will be familiar with the travails of those early months, the sleepless nights, the 3am feeds (I used to watch Steve Irwin programmes in those other-worldy early hours), the terrible anguish of teething, the regular trips to the doctors every time the baby did so much as sneeze.But for me, the real hard work started when Sara's maternity leave ended. I soon began to appreciate how hard Sara's day to day routine had been while I was in the office. In those early months after Jack and I were left to fend for ourselves in the daytime, I didn't start my shift until 3pm, and by the time I got into the office I already felt like I'd done a days work, what with nappy changes, chores and children's TV.But I also felt, and still do feel, every day, incredibly lucky. Lucky that I had a job, as a journalist at the Daily Post in North Wales, which I could start so late in the afternoon, having already spent the best part of a day with my little boy. Lucky that I didn't have to be out of the house at 8am, not to return until teatime, only getting to spend quality time with Jack at the weekends. I could take him out in the pushchair, to the park when he got a bit older, out for lunch with my mum, all before starting my shift sub-editing sport stories.Of course there have been downsides. My wife and I hardly saw each other, at times it felt like we were sharing the duties of being a single parent. We've constantly had to remind ourselves that Jack was getting the benefit of the two of us being like ships in the night, the little guy almost always having one DAD about the HOUSEJuggling the pressures of a job with the demands of childcare. Dad Gareth Bicknell reveals why he thinks he's got the best of both worlds. NETWORK HeGareth with wife Sara, son Jack and latest edition Leo84Network She I Autumn/Winter 2012