An Essex school has become the first school in the UK to host a unique careers fair aimed at inspiring girls to broaden their careers horizons.
Basildon Upper Academy is hosting a careers event organised by the National Inspiring Women campaign. The campaign aims to get 15,000 women to volunteer an hour a year and go into a school or college, near where they live or work, and collectively chat with 250,000 young women about their career and their experiences in life.
The charity which administers the scheme, the Education and Employers Taskforce, has organised the unique careers fair at the school with 175 women doing diverse jobs from an electrician to a shadow minister, from a lawyer to an occupational therapist, from bankers to a plastic surgeon.
Organisations represented included: Aston Martin, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BSkyB, CBI, Crossrail, Little Miss Geek, National Trust, NHS, Premier League, Royal Air Force, Sainsburys, the Medical Women’s Foundation and the University of Cambridge.
As well as the careers fair the school is also hosting a career speed dating event with 100 girls and ten highly successful women including Miriam González Durántez, partner at Dechert LLP.
Basildon Academy signed up to Inspiring the Future in 2013 wanting women from all backgrounds to visit and help inspire their female students and give them insights into different options.
Campaign supporter Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Derchert LLP said:”Girls need to feel free to make their own choices. The main purpose of the Inspiring Women campaign is to reassure them that there are many female role models out there willing to help and that any option they take in life is valid if it is what they really want.”
“The world of work is changing rapidly and young people in the UK need to be prepared for future opportunities. We can all help to ensure they develop the right skills,” said Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, President, EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Inspiring Women was launched to connect women from all backgrounds with girls from state schools, because research shows that girls respond best hearing from other women.
Volunteers register to visit schools near their homes and/or work. 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.