#EachforEqual, that is what the UN is asking for the next generation of young women, to help improve gender inequality this International Women’s Day, which was on Sunday 8 March.
To mark the day Hackney Council hosted it’s fifth ‘Inspiring Young Women’ careers event at the Young Hackney Forest Road Youth Hub in Dalston, on Wednesday 4 March. Bringing together over 50 young women from three schools across the borough to meet with 28 inspiring and successful women, who all volunteered their time to support the event.
The event began with a panel discussion hosted by Dr Ronx, Emergency Medicine Doctor at Homerton University Hospital and host of BBC’s “Operation Ouch!” show. She sat alongside four panellists from a variety of backgrounds and occupations who gave short presentations about their career journeys. The planellists included Deputy Mayor of Hackney Anntionette Bramble; Kate Conway, violinist, educator and founder of Suzuki Hub; Grace Graham, award-winning business activist, leadership lecturer and business owner of Keep It Simple and Abi Wright, founder of posture and body confidence company for women, Inspiring Margot.
The panellists had the audience thinking, discussing – and laughing- with relatable experiences and stories. A recurring theme across all the presentations was the importance of perseverance and being confident in what makes you different. Grace Graham said: “Everyone in this room can make a change, make a difference. There is a mission in this world that only you can fulfill because only you can be you, and that is your power.”
The panel concluded with an impromptu performance from Grace Graham accompanied by fellow panellist Kate Conway and her glowing violin, as requested by one of the students in the audience.
Following on from the panel discussion, the young women were put into smaller groups for more personal discussions with the volunteer professionals. Each group was able to rotate and speak to a variety of professionals, providing the young women with a breadth of information and opportunity prospects. The event concluded with a relaxed networking session where the young women were able to connect with all the professionals, exchanging contacts, experiences and aspirations.
Adepeju Adediji-ige, 14 years old from Our Lady’s Catholic High School who aims to be a Plastic Surgeon said: “I have really enjoyed listening to the presentations and finding out about how the panellists got to where they are today. It has shown me you can do or be whatever you want and there are loads of ways to reach your goals. I want to change the way plastic surgery is perceived, because there are loads of reasons why someone may want to change their appearance, it’s not always for the stereotypical reasons people often think.”
If you are a school that would like to be involved in the next Inspiring Young Women event, you can contact Volunteer Coordinator and organiser Xanthippi Karkantou at Young Hackney for more information on: 020 8356 3962 or via: Xanthippi.Karkantou@hackney.gov.uk.