Successful women give an insight into the world of business

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Tanbridge House School students received a fantastic insight into the world of business and leadership recently with an insightful Q&A session featuring women in leadership.

Featuring an expert panel of women from a variety of different sectors including education, technology and IT, the event gave high performing female students the opportunity to ask questions and hear first-hand experiences from successful women, some of whom are working within what could be classed as stereotypically ‘male’ industries.

The panel consisted of: Claire Bennet - senior HR director, EMEA, Oracle; Jaqueline Currie - founder and lead educator, Curiosity Hub; Siobhan Denning - headteacher, Forest School; Judith Harding - CIO programme director, BT Mobile; Emma Smith - talent manager, Creative Assembly.

Judith said: “The concept of working in business is daunting to students, especially so for young females. It’s incredibly important that women in leadership support schools to help unravel the mysteries & dispel the myths of work and encourage more young females to aim high, working with them to build their self- confidence. This was such an important session and I hope the start of a journey for us to work further with the students at the school.”

Emma said: “I could see a great deal of promise in many of the young women at the session and I’m confident that with the right level of engagement from a variety of different areas, they will only succeed in life. They approached the subject with a level of maturity beyond their years and I am looking forward to seeing their stories unfold.”

In addition to answering students’ questions (in-depth and as part of a quick-fire round), the panel also posed three of their own questions to the students and discussed key topics with them.

Discussions included the concept of ‘the glass ceiling’, the panel’s biggest achievements, and whether they think it is still ‘a man’s world’ in 2015. The panel posed questions to the students about maintaining their sense of self within the digital age and how schools can support girls.

The students were left with the inspiring message that if they work hard and apply themselves, there is nothing stopping them from achieving success in their lives.

Jules White, head teacher at Tanbridge House School, said: “This was an extremely positive event for our students and I would like to thank all of the panel members for taking the time to deliver such an inspirational session.

The girls were able to see first-hand how hard-work, self-belief and ambition can lead to great things and the event highlighted that, whilst discussions around equality and sexism are still relevant, being female is absolutely no obstacle to achieving success.”

Report contributed by Tanbridge House School.