Women with extraordinary business acumen share their stories with students.
Students at West Grantham C of E Secondary Academy welcomed three guests to speak at their ‘Women in Industry’ event, aimed at inspiring female students to aim high in their career goals.
Clare Barber is Principal at West Grantham C of E Secondary Academy and said she wants students to overcome both real and perceived barriers in their future careers. “We want our KS4 girls to attain the confidence to achieve their rightful place in society and the world of work. This might be overcoming low self-esteem for example, which can lead to the incorrect assumption that the top jobs are for ‘other women’. As a school, we wanted to ensure that West Grantham girls are given the opportunity to listen to women who have achieved extraordinary things in business. This fits in with three of our core values: courage, belief and ambition, and is also part of our vision.”
The West Grantham C of E Secondary Academy’s vision states, ‘Place no limits on what can be achieved, ensuring opportunities are not restricted by self-belief or circumstance’.
The three visitors were Zoë Blake, CEO of CareLoop Health, Slava Barber Head of Human Resources UK and EU at Soloprotect, and Helen Waite, Deputy Director at the Department for Education. The guests were given a tour of the school and then met small groups of students to tackle subjects covering educational choices, resilience, and imposter syndrome amongst other topics.
Additionally, as a Ukrainian national, visitor Slava Barber was also able to spend some time speaking to two of the academy’s younger Ukrainian students. All three reported that they thoroughly enjoyed speaking in their mother tongue about their shared culture, and what they miss about home.
Zoë Blake is CEO of CareLoop Health and formerly CEO of Kooth. She attended the event and was able to work with the year 10 and 11 students. She said, “It was an honour to be invited to West Grantham C of E Secondary Academy, and to meet the Year 10 and 11 girls. The school has a lovely welcoming atmosphere. I found the teachers and the pupils to be warm and engaging. During our conversations, the girls asked insightful questions and demonstrated they were genuinely interested in understanding the role I do today and how I got there. I wholeheartedly support Miss Barber’s initiative to bring women in industry into the classroom to help young girls to aspire to careers they may not have thought of or thought possible.”
Principal, Clare Barber said she felt the event was a great success. “Listening to students break down the reasons that foster low self-esteem or low aspirations means they now grasp how to overcome those barriers. We will continue to support all of our students to aim high in their life ambitions, and hope that events like this are overturning the myths and historical impediments that have meant that many women do not fulfil their potential. I would like to thank Slava, Helen and Zoë for taking the time to show our students that with hard work and ambition, and a brave outlook, that they can achieve anything.”