Teen comes 400 miles to work with Newport funeral director

South Wales Argus: INSPIRED: Laura Cushen, from Scotland, centre, meets Rachael, left, and Louise Ryan, who father Mike has offered her work experience after she saw a documentary about the girls working in the family business INSPIRED: Laura Cushen, from Scotland, centre, meets Rachael, left, and Louise Ryan, who father Mike has offered her work experience after she saw a documentary about the girls working in the family business

WHEN Laura Cushen saw Newport funeral director Mike Ryan’s daughters working in the family business on a television documentary, she was “delighted” to see two young women making their mark in a traditionally male-dominated business.

So determined is she to follow their example, she has travelled more than 400 miles from home in Lanarkshire, Scotland, for work experience.

But though she travelled much further than most of those seeking work experience with Mr Ryan, she is not alone in being a woman looking at a potential career as a funeral director.

“In the last few years women have really been coming forward,” said Mr Ryan, whose business, Michael G Ryan, Son and Daughters, is in Malpas Road.

“I’d say eight of the last ten people coming for work experience have been young women, and they want to be funeral directors, not on the clerical side.”

Miss Cushen, 22, sought work experience and a way into the profession back home, with no luck.

“There aren’t many opportunities and in Scotland a lot of funeral directors are family firms and it’s hard to get in.

“It’s very male dominated and there should be more females involved. My family and friends think it’s strange, but I’m determined.”

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