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Hinchingbrooke Students Part of Inspiring Women: the launch of a national campaign

The Inspiring the Future: Inspiring Women campaign launches on 17 October with a ‘career speed networking’ event hosted by Miriam González Durántez at Lancaster House with 100 girls from 12 state secondary schools talking jobs and careers with 10 high profile successful women. The aim of the campaign is to see 15,000 women from a wide range of occupations going into state schools, over the next year, to talk to 250,000 young women about the range of jobs available and entry routes into them.

The campaign begins with 10 women sharing their career insights with 100 girls. The high profile women taking part in the launch include:  Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Dechert LLP and the wife of Nick Clegg the DPM, Fiona Bruce, BBC journalist and presenter, Athene Donald DBE, Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge, Thea Green, CEO Nails Inc’s, Bettany Hughes, historian and broadcaster, Livia Firth, Creative Director Eco Age Ltd, Carrie Longton, Mumsnet co-founder, Carolyn McCall, CEO easyJet, Heather McGregor, entrepreneur and Financial Times columnist and Barbara Stocking DBE, former CEO Oxfam and current President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.

Hinchingbrooke School was invited to attend the launch of the campaign and eight year 12 students had a great day and were lucky enough to meet and ask questions of Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, Livia Firth, Athene Donald, Thea Green and Bettany Hughes. Students commented ‘It was an excellent event and a great opportunity. Talking to such influential women was a joy. Hearing such a variety of stories made me realise that there are lots of different paths available to reach your final goal’ and  “It’s made me even more motivated to be successful thanks to the great advice and guidance.”

Left to right: Year 12 Students -

Joanna Chen, Naomi Longhurst, Caprice Wood, Amy Snedker, Megan Drummond, Emily Mason, Lydia Salmon, Amelia Hunt.

Inspiring Women was set up to connect women from all career backgrounds with girls from state schools, because research shows that girls respond best hearing from other women. Whether an 18 year old Apprentice or a household name CEO, women in all sorts of employment can inspire girls to widen their horizons and look beyond stereotypically female jobs and careers. 75% of women still work in the five Cs of employment; cleaning, catering, caring, cashiering and clerical so the campaign aims to challenge this.

Talking about the campaign Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Dechert LLP says: “There are legions of female role models in our workplaces, in our own families, in the street. Every woman can be a role model for the new generations, no matter the path they have chosen in their lives. Through taking women into state schools to talk face-to-face with girls around the country this campaign will help to remove the stereotypes and absurd labels that still today surround women. Young girls deserve to feel free to aim high”.

Andrea Sullivan, head of Corporate Responsibility for Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says: “The world of work is rapidly changing and young people in the UK need to be prepared for future opportunities. This is our opportunity to help raise their aspirations, widen their horizons and ensure they have the right skills and behaviours needed for employment. Through our support of Inspiring the Future: Inspiring Women thousands of girls across the country will be connected with hundreds of employers, including volunteers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  As well as providing the support which helps underpin the campaign, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has committed to lead by example by encouraging hundreds of female staff, clients and suppliers to sign up to Inspiring the Future.”

The Inspiring Women campaign will run through www.inspiringthefuture.org, an innovative free national programme connecting schools and volunteers. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, actor Joanna Lumley, CBI President Sir Roger Carr and other leading figures from education and business took part in the July 2012 launch. During its first year of operation, more than half of all state secondary schools signed up to use Inspiring the Future arranging careers fairs and other events attended by 100,000 young people.

Volunteers register to visit schools near their homes and/or work: www.inspiringthefuture.org

Last month OFSTED published a review on careers, calling for schools to work more closely with employers to improve careers information and advice available to young people. It follows strong concerns expressed by the CBI, Women’s Business Network and the National Careers Council that there is a significant mismatch between the career aspirations of young people and the reality of the jobs market.  Far too many young people are having to make vital and incredibly important decisions about their futures without access to good and reliable information.

The Inspiring the Future: Inspiring Women campaign is being run by small charity the Education and Employers Taskforce with support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.